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Christian Holy Sites: The Chapel of the Primacy

"The third time he said to him: ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’." (John 21:17)

A chapel on the lake shore - a short distance from the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes - marks the site where, according to Christian tradition, Jesus appeared to his disciples for the third time and confirmed the spiritual primacy of the Apostle Peter.

The present chapel, built of black basalt stones, was erected by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land in 1933 on the ruins of earlier shrines. Elements of the 4th-century church can be seen along the outside base of three of the walls.

The section of flat rock in front of the altar inside the present chapel is popularly identified as Mensa Christi (Lat., the table of Christ), the assumed place where Jesus offered breakfast to the disciples.

On the lakeside of the chapel are twelve rock-cut steps, quite possibly those described by the 4th-century Spanish pilgrim, the Lady Egeria.

Pope Paul VI visited the chapel on 5 January 1964, during his historic pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry