33 – Church of St. Peter Gallicantu

Day 10

The Church of St. Peter Gallicantu (Church of the Cock’s Crow) is built in an area where the Sanhedrin lived in Jerusalem. There’s good reason to believe that it truly is placed where Jesus was held and where Peter denied Christ. It’s also the same location in town where the last supper was held.

When the caves beneath the church were rediscovered in 1889, their physical characteristics, proximity to Caiaphas’ palace and their contiguity with the dungeon all suggested the public jail where, according to a 4th-century Jerusalem tradition, Jesus would have been scourged not only by Pilate, but also by Caiaphas. It’s the same place where Peter and John would have been held and scourged for preaching in the name of Jesus in the temple area after the resurrection ().

Most of the churches that commemorate a Biblical site have one thing in common: excessive gaudiness. I think it’s driven by a ‘works’ mentality. Pretty sad to see, actually.

The Church of the Cock Crow was very ornate, but very tasteful. As far as these churches go, I’d have to say it was my favorite. Very nice, but not overdone.

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This is the main sanctuary.
Stained glass design on the ceiling.
Below the chapel is where things get interesting. There are a set of caves that were once dungeons and prison cells.(For more on this, be sure to see the movie clip section)
This is the lowest of the cells. It had two holes cut in the top of the room. I’m not sure why.
Out in the backyard were some more ruins dating back to Caiphas’ time.“Lord,” Peter asked, “why can’t I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You!”

Jesus replied, “Will you lay down your life for Me? I assure you: A rooster will not crow until you have denied Me three times. (Joh 13:37-38 HCSB)

(For more on this, be sure to see the movie clip section)

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant approached him and she said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean too.” But he denied it in front of everyone: “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” When he had gone out to the gateway, another woman saw him and told those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene!” And again he denied it with an oath, “I don’t know the man!” After a little while those standing there approached and said to Peter, “You certainly are one of them, since even your accent gives you away.” Then he started to curse and to swear with an oath, “I do not know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed, and Peter remembered the words Jesus had spoken, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.  (Mat 26:69-75 HCSB)
I figure Jesus very likely walked up these steps. Dittos for Peter and John when they were held for preaching the resurrected Christ in the temple.Now as they were speaking to the people, the priests, the commander of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them, because they were provoked that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in the person of Jesus the resurrection from the dead. So they seized them and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening. ( HCSB)


19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” 21 And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.

Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council and all the senate of the people of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. 25 And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” 26 Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, 40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. (ESV)


4:1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. (ESV)