St. Peter in Gallicantu

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Most everyone is familiar with the events of Holy Thursday.  Christ offers the Last Supper, and Judas slinks away to play his part in the Passion.  Eventually at Gethsemane, so tested and so worried is Jesus that He literally drops of blood appeared on His forehead (Luke 22:44).  

It is after he is approached, and after he is brought before Caiaphas, that Christ is kept in a cell until he can be brought before Pontius Pilate the next morning.  

St. Peter in Gallicantu is the name of the church built over the ruins of Caiaphas’ home.  In a cell underneath this church is where Christ waited, more alone than at Gethsemane.  

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Above him, Peter was warming himself at a fire.  Three times he would deny Christ, joining Judas in betrayal.  When presented with his sin, it would be Peter who would “weep bitterly” (Luke 22:64) and it would be Judas who would ultimately kill himself.  

Matthew and Acts deliver two different accounts — whether Judas hangs himself (Matthew 27:5) or whether his guts explode (Acts 1:18) is left up to the tastes of the reader.  Either way, it’s a pretty gory end for Judas, while Peter repents, going on to become the leader of the newborn Church.

Despite these accounts, it is rather interesting just after the First Eucharist is given that Holy Thursday, the first tabernacle (in the Catholic sense of the word) to hold Christ is literally this cell, where Christ is utterly alone, where his words “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40) are still echoing.

Tonight, Christ is in the tabernacle — alone.  Of all nights, I have always felt the urge for Eucharistic Adoration more compelling on the evening of Holy Thursday than all others.

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