Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” (Acts 9:38)
Jaffa is in Tel Aviv, Israel. One of this city’s most notable religious attractions is St. Peter’s Church. Jaffa is a port city, thought to be the oldest in the world! It is just south of Tel Aviv and sits on the Mediterranean Sea. Jaffa is mentioned in ancient Egyptian manuscripts, and the Bible writes of Jaffa being given to the tribe of Dan, also as the port to receive cedars of Lebanon and as being close to Solomon’s temple. Then in the New Testament, a story recounts Peter, a disciple of Jesus, resurrecting a widow named Tabitha city of Jaffa.
Masses at St. Peter’s Church are conducted in English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, and German to accommodate the numerous tourists visiting from all over the world. A schedule of masses is readily available within the church. Polish workers often attend mass on their day off (Saturday).
St. Peter’s Church, with its huge belfry and brick façade, is the largest building in Old Jaffa. The interior of St. Peter’s Church has vaulted ceilings and looks quite a bit like European churches. Franz Xavier Zittler, from Munich , designed the ornate stained glass windows in this impressive church. The four panels of stained glass in the anterior of the church depict different episodes in St. Peter’s life, like the miraculous catching of the fish, the transfiguration and Jesus giving Peter the keys to Heaven and earth. Many of the other windows show Spanish saints. The pulpit is in the shape of a real life tree!
This amazing site also contains remnants of the St. Louis’ citadel from the 13th century. These remains are located outside, just right of the sacristy. They include two circular rooms, with low ceilings. Napoleon Bonaparte is thought to have lived in these rooms in 1799, when he lived at St. Peters Church during his campaign in Syria and Egypt.
The medieval citadel which originally sat where St. Peter’s Church is today was built by Frederick II. Then Louis IX of France restored it in the late 13th century. Saint Peter’s Church was then built in 1654, but toward the late 18th century it was twice destroyed and twice rebuilt. The most recent structure was built between 1888 and 1894. In 1903, St. Peter’s Church was renovated.