On Wednesday, the 16th/29th of January 2014, the feast of the veneration of the chains of the Apostle Peter was celebrated in the chapel dedicated to him within the Holy Monastery of St Nicodemus (of Lentils) in the Praetorium area, in the Old City of Jerusalem.

In this chapel in the area of the Praetorium, that used to be the residence of the Roman Governor, the Apostle Peter was incarcerated by king Herod. Herod intended to offer him for execution to the Jews, in order to please them, as was the case with the Apostle James, the son of Zebedee and brother of the Evangelist John (Acts 12, 1-3).  

While Herod was conspiring to the above, God sent an angel to release the Apostle Peter from his chains and lead him from the prison to the gate outside the city, where he was to become unseen (Acts 12, 10-11).

With this feast the Church honours the incarceration and liberation of the Apostle Peter and asks for his mediation by veneration of his chains, which was transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople (See the Great Horologion on the 16th of January).

His Eminence Archbishop Dorotheos of Avila led the feast and the Divine Liturgy, with the Hegoumen of the Monastery of the Shepherds, Archimandrite Ignatios, co-officiating. Praying with them were monks, nuns and pilgrims.

During the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude Theophilos arrived with His retinue to venerate at the underground chapel of the Apostle Peter, shaped after a prison, and also in the Church of the Lord’s secret disciple, St Nicodemus. The church is now being preserved and renovated with the subvention of the Greek Association of the Holy Sepulcher.

Hieromonk f. Makarios went on to host a reception for the Patriarchal and Prelatic retinue and the congregation.

From the Secretariat-General