JERUSALEM – In the Co-Cathedral of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem there is a perfectly faithful copy of the bronze statue of “St. Peter in cathedra” housed in the Vatican Basilica, in Rome. A treat for the numerous and unsuspecting pilgrims that visit Jerusalem every day. Its presence testifies to the close relationship between “the Mother Church” and “Mother Church”, that is, between Rome and Jerusalem.
In the Co-Cathedral in Jerusalem we find, on the left aisle, the bronze statue of Saint Peter blessing, majestically seated on his “chair” and depicted with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven in one hand.
It is a faithful copy of the original preserved in the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. The one in Rome was most probably produced by Arnolfo di Cambio in the 13th century. Tradition has it that it is a devout act to touch the right foot of the sculpture, now visibly worn by wear and tear due to the devotion of the numerous pilgrims. A use that is perpetuated also here in Jerusalem, where the shape of the foot of “our” Saint Peter is appreciably reshaped.
The presence of this statue in Jerusalem, a perfect replica of the Vatican original, testifies to the intimate bond that unites the Church of the Holy Land with that of Rome, seat of the successor of the Apostle Peter, who left Jerusalem to spread the Good News and in Rome died a martyr for his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Filippo De Grazia