Around the Sea of Galiliee – First Visit: Church of the Beatitudes

On Saturday, May 18, I travelled north of Tiberias and then around the Sea of Galilee, some 21 km long and 9 km wide, lying over 200 m below seal level.  On this day, I visited a number of the Holy Land sites that Jesus frequented during his time on earth.  This is the first of several posts from that trip.

The Church of the Beatitudes is located north of the village of Tabgha.  This is where Jesus is said to give the Sermon on the Mount.  This sermon to his followers began with his eight blessings, or beatitudes, which you can read in Matthew 5: 3-12).

This mural depicts that event:

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Near the entrance to the church is this stone tablet:

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Around the top of the sanctuary are the stained glass blessings in Latin.  Here are examples:

ImageNorman Williams - Church of the Beatitudes - teaching 2 - 130518

Inside this Franciscan church, one finds a decorative altar and behind it, a crucified Jesus:

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Norman Williams - Church of the Beatitudes - crucifix - 130518

And, on the floor, an interesting mosaic of tiles:

Norman Williams - Church of the Beatitudes - mosaic floor - 130518

And, looking up, an incredible dome with the bluest of blues in the apexImage

and a hand carved pew:

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From the outside, the church is striking:

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And, walking around the landscaped gardens, you find small treasures:

Norman Williams - Church of the Beatitudes - garden - 130518Norman Williams - Church of the Beatitudes - fish and loaves - 130518 Norman Williams - Church of the Beatitudes - fountain - 130518

I will have these images in my mind whenever the Beatitudes and Sermon from the Mount are mentioned in the future.  It was a hot day, and there were droves of tourists. Alone, I walked among them.

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