PRIMACY OF PETER
The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter is a church of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. It is located on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee in the area of the seven springs. This holy place commemorates the third appearance of Christ to His disciples after the Resurrection. (cf. John 21) It also holds the mystery of the Sermon on the Mount (cf. Matthew 5-7), and the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. (cf. John 6:1) Nearby sanctuaries honor these mysteries more completely. This link provides information on the churches in the same area.
This spot was marked as early as 381 A.D., in the diary of the Spanish pilgrim, Egeria: “…there are stone steps where the Lord stood…” By the end of the 4th century, a small church enclosed the “Table of the Lord” – Mensa Christi – an outcropping of rocks believed to be the place that Christ offered breakfast to the disciples. (cf. John 21:9) This church was destroyed in 1262. The current Franciscan chapel was built in 1933, over the same spot.
This third appearance to the Apostles is known as the Petrine Primacy. Christ reinstates Peter as head of His Church. The Lord tells Peter three times: “Feed my sheep,” (cf. John 21:15-19) in response to Peter’s three-fold denial at the House of Caiaphas, after Christ’s arrest on Holy Thursday. It is a redemptive act.
In his homily on this feast in 2020, the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francisco Patton, said:
The primacy of love is not the primacy of presumptuous love, but of humble love that has passed through the experience of one’s own fragility. In fact, the love that we human beings are capable of is a love that needs to grow.
The Pilgrimage Feast of the Primacy of Peter is celebrated by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land each year before the Ascension. This pilgrimage celebration began in 2012.
Church of the Primacy of Peter - Tabgha, Israel. (n.d.). Sacred Destinations. Retrieved May 14, 2021, from http://www.sacred-destinations.com/israel/tabgha-church-of-primacy-of-peter
Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. (n.d.-a). Tabgha and Magdala. Custodia Terrae Sanctae. Retrieved May 14, 2021, from https://www.custodia.org/en/sanctuaries/tabgha-and-magdala
Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. (n.d.-b). Tabgha: the Primacy of Love. Custodia Terrae Sanctae. Retrieved May 14, 2021, from https://www.custodia.org/en/news/tabgha-primacy-love