Friday, 20 January 2012

Church of St. Peter Galicantu

The Church of St. Peter Galicantu is on Mount Zion close to the Church of the Dormition and David's Tomb.  There are good views across to the Mount of Olives.  This church commemorates the traditional site of Peter's denial.  It is an attractive modern-looking church, though was built in 1931.  There is some lovely painting inside and some mosaics from a much earlier period have also been discovered.  Like many of the church it is not just on one level and, in this case, went down to excavations that would seem to be of a former prison.  There was a cell into which we were able to go by way of a staircase but, when it was in use, prisoners would have simply been lowered through a hole.  There was also what would seem to be a former torture chamber with sockets for chains and containers that would have taken the likes of boiling oil.  It was a stark place which spoke of violence and isolation.  In the church I found myself reflect on the agonies that took Peter to denial, thinking of why he did it and how he must have felt afterwards.

What are the ways in which we deny today?  How does that leave us feeling?  What do we do about what we have done?

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