Tag Archives: Capernaum

Capernaum, Part 1

Capernaum figured largely in Jesus’ ministry.

The church is built over the excavation of a house that was used church by early Jewish Christians in mid to late first century.

The church offers a commanding view of the synagogue built over the one in which Jesus preached.

Surrounding the synagogue are excavated remains of first century homes.

Under the glass floor of the modern church are the excavations of a fifth century church and also a fourth century synagogue, and under that was a first century house church, called the “House of Peter,” where there were discovered hundreds of Christian inscriptions in Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew saying Jesus, Lord, and Peter.

The altar where we offered Mass.

Excavations in the early 20th century revealed a fourth century synagogue.

The fourth century synagogue was built over the first century synagogue where Jesus preached. Notice the basalt foundation of the synagogue from the time of Jesus.

Church of the Beatitudes

Just a short drive north of Tiberias we visited the Church of the Beatitudes.

The altar is centrally placed.

The golden dome of the church over the octagon. Each of the windows bears a Beatitude.

beatitudes-015556The altar.

The mosaic in front of the altar: “Praise to You, Christ.”


In the octagonal floor mosaic are the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues.




The church of the Beatitudes. The church, designed by Barluzzi, completed in 1936, commemorates the beatitudes. The church is an octagonal structure reflecting the eight beatitudes.

Although we we do not know the exact location, it is likely to have been on the northern shore of the sea of Galilee near Capernaum.

The gardens are well maintained and conducive to meditation.

Throughout the garden are the eight beatitudes.

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Matthew 5:1-11