Tag Archives: Holy Land

Duc in Altum

This is the chapel in the town of Magdala where Mary Magdalen lived. Here we celebrated the third Sunday of Easter when Jesus beckons his apostles to have breakfast with him.

Unbelievably creative, to place you right into the Gospel.

Our pilgrims after Mass. What an experience to offer Mass on the seashore of Galilee.

On the seashore.

A stunning mural when the woman touches the hem of Jesus’ garment.

The floor mosaics are beautiful.

The facade: Duc in altum. “Put out into the deep.”

The Plain of Jezreel

From Mount Tabor, the Jezreel plain or valley lies below:



And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak at the edge of the sword; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot. And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Haroshethhagoiim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left. ~ Judges 4:14-16

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 Transfiguration

Church of the Transfiguration, on Mount Tabor.

The two towers and the pediment over the front doors reminded me of the three tents Peter wanted to build.

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” ~ Matt. 17:1-5

The radiant apse of the Transfiguration glows.

This is the chapel where we celebrated the Solemnity of the Transfiguration.

Under the left tower is a chapel dedicated to Elijah.

Under the right tower is a chapel dedicated to Moses.

Ruins of the Byzantine church destroyed by the Persians in 614.

Ruins of a Benedictine monastery.

A beautiful text. It says:

And Jesus was transfigured before them and his face did shine as the sun. ~ Matt. 17:2
We are changed into the same image from glory to glory. ~ 2 Cor. 3:18

The hour of transfiguration came to Jesus at the moment
When He was ready to go out into the night of death.
As members of HIs Body, we can only receive the grace
Of transfiguration which He has earned for us,
By the same way, the way of humiliation and purging.

The tradition of Mount Tabor as the place of the Transfiguration goes back to the 4th century.

The Primacy of Peter

The Primacy of Peter.

The Mensa Christi or altar of Christ is perched on the lake’s edge.

Here Peter thrice professes his love for the Lord.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep…” ~John 21:15-17

Here we remember John 21 when Jesus directs the apostles to cast out their nets.

Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. ~John 21:5-6

He fed them with grilled fish and bread.

The Feast of Saint Stephen

Saint Stephen

From the Church of Saint Stephen, in Jerusalem. This church was built over the place that commemorated the martyrdom of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr.

Apertae sunt inuae caeli beato Stephano, qui in numero Martyrum inventus est primus,
et ideo triumphat in caelis coronatus.

The gates of heaven were opened for blessed Stephen,who was found to be first among the number of the Martyrs and therefore is crowned triumphant in heaven.

During these 12 days of Christmastide, the church offers us a three-day feast called Comites Christi. Today we celebrate Saint Stephen the Protomartyr who was the first to witness to the truth of the gospel by the voluntary shedding of his blood. Tomorrow we celebrate Saint John the Evangelist who was spared martyrdom; however he witnessed to the truth of the Gospel through his Gospel and Epistle. On the third day we commemorate the slaughter of the Innocents who involuntarily shed their blood in witness to Jesus Christ the Messiah. Today, may we hold close to our hearts in prayer those who are being persecuted for the sake of the truth of the gospel of our Incarnate Lord Jesus.

During the twelve days of Christmas I will be sharing various Christmas carols that move my heart to pray to the Infant King.


Merry Christmas! Let Us All Rejoice

From the Church of Shepherd’s Field in Bethlehem.

A child is born for us, and a son is given to us;
his scepter of power rests upon his shoulder,
and his name will be called Messenger of great counsel. ~Is. 9:6

The silver star in the Church of the Nativity where Christians venerate the birth of the Savior.

O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature
and still more wonderfully restored it,
grant, we pray, that we may share in the divinity of Christ,
who humbled himself to share in our humanity.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.