Lydda, on the Plain of Sharon where Peter healed Aeneas, was home to one of the earliest Christian communities in the Holy Land (Acts 9:32). The news of the paralytic Aeneas walking again would have spread quickly from this town because of its location on the region’s central highway, the Via Maris.
Lydda is now a modern city between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but it still bears the ancient Hebrew name of Lod. It was founded by a Benjaminite family (1 Chron. 8:12) and later reestablished by Jews returning from Babylonian captivity (Ezra 2:33). St. George the dragon-slayer, a Roman soldier who became a Christian, and a symbol of Christianity’s victory over paganism, is said to have been born here.
The beautiful St. George’s church in Lydda’s Old City, rebuilt in 1871 on medieval ruins, is an interesting place to visit.* Tradition has it that St. George was chained here by captors who tried unsuccessfully to dissuade him from his faith.
*Phone ahead: +972-(0)8-922-2023