Church at the Mount of Beatitudes

The Mount of Beatitudes is an interesting location just to the north of the Sea of Galilee – just up from Tabgha where Jesus is said to have fed the 5000 with 5 fish and 2 loaves.

The mountain is topped by a Catholic chapel built in 1939 by the Franciscan Sisters with the support of the Italian ruler Mussolini.  The building which was constructed by the noted architect Antonio Barluzzi is full of numerical symbolism.  In front of the church, the symbols on the pavement represent Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, Charity, Faith and Temperance.  Inside the church hangs the cloak from Pope Paul VI’s visit in 1964.

View from the Mount of Beatitudes
View from the Mount of Beatitudes

The Mt. of Beatitudes overlooks the four-mile long Plain of Gennesaret, an area famed for its fertility.  Josephus said this plain was the location of “nature’s crowning achievement.”  Several times the New Testament records that Jesus was in this area including when he healed the multitudes here and faced Pharisaic condemnation for ritual impurity (Mark 6-7).

Geoff Bullock reading from the Beatitudes in Matthew
Geoff Bullock reading from the Beatitudes in Matthew

Our tour group leaders was Geoff Bullock above is a photo of Geoff as he spoke on his reflections of the Beatitudes.

Matthew 5:1-10

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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