Capernaum: the Ancient Synagogue and the Home of Saint Peter
After leaving Nazareth, Jesus spent a great deal of his ministry in Capernaum. It was from this sea port that that He called the Disciples Peter, John, Andrew, James and John to become “fishers of men”.
Jesus taught in the synagogue here and performed many miracles. We read in Mark’s Gospel (Mar 2, 1-12) of the paralytic who was lowered through a hole in the roof of a house and told by Jesus that his sins were forgiven and to take up his mat and go home. This aroused the anger of the religious authorities who felt that He was committing blasphemy by proclaiming Himself as God.
About the Franciscan Church:
The town eventually disappeared, other than a few ruins, but in 1894 the Franciscans purchased the site and began to excavate a portion of the town, especially under the church believed to be over the home of Saint Peter.
There is a small, modern church built over the site and groups can celebrate Mass here if they have a priest with them. In the center of the church is a glass covering where you can look down on the excavation.
As a result, you now can see portions of the foundations of the town as it might have been in Jesus’ time. The synagogue is interesting in itself as well as the home of Saint Peter. They are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
Click here for the official Franciscan Custodia website of Capernum. An in-depth and interesting site.
Photo courtesy Franciscan Custodia Capernaum