Why is a rooster on my weather vane?

Did you ever wonder why a rooftop weather vane is typically formed in the shape of an ornamental rooster? Perhaps because a rooster likes to read the NEWS?

The perfect location to explore this question is the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu, a 1930s era building nestled on the southeast slopes of Jerusalem's Mt. Zion. Owned by the French Assumptionist Fathers, a Roman Catholic order founded in the late 19th century, the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu commemorates Peter's betrayal of Jesus during the dramatic events that unfolded after the Last Supper as described in all four Canonical Gospels of the New Testament.

During the Last Supper with his disciples, Jesus predicted that Peter would deny knowing him three times before the rooster crowed the next morning. According to the Gospels, following the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gesthemane, he was brought for trial to the house of Caiaphas the High Priest.

Peter soon followed to determine the fate of Jesus. When asked three times by those in the surrounding courtyard whether he was one of the followers of Jesus, Peter denied knowing him at all.

The Gospel of Luke describes Peter's final denial:

"'Certainly this fellow was with him for he is a Galilean.' Peter replied, 'Man, I don't know what you are talking about!' Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. Jesus turned and looked straight at Peter.

"Then Peter remembered the words Jesus had spoken to him: 'Before the rooster crows today, you will deny knowing me three times.' And he went outside and wept bitterly." (Luke 22:59-62)

To recall the story of the Denial of Peter, many churches placed rooster ornaments on their rooftops; in the ninth century, Pope Nicholas even made it mandatory for every church steeple. The name 'Gallicantu' comes from the Latin for 'rooster's crow'.

So if you want to know which way the wind is blowing, just ask the rooster! And if you want an amazing composition to photograph the super moon . . . well, check out Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth from November 15, 2016!

Want to visit the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu, then join me for a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem!

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