Mount of Beatitudes
Mount of Beatitudes – Jesus Christ proclaimed the biblical commandments. In the north of Sea of Galilee there is a mountain, from the top of which the Lord Jesus Christ introduced the essence of his teachings to people. This was a speech about the Sermon on the Mount, which is rightfully considered the quintessence of all Christianity.
The top of Horns of Hattin is at the intersection of the road between Tabor and Capernaum. According to the traditions that came from Ancient Byzantium, that is the Mount of Beatitudes. The same version was the main one among the crusaders. This is indicated in the encyclopedia of Catholics and Greek Orthodox writings. There were other assumptions.
However, excavations carried out in the mid-30s of the last century under the guidance of the master of biblical history and archeology Bellarmino Bagatti testify to the authenticity of the words of pilgrims who visited the place at sunset of ancient times. And after the researchers discovered the remains of the Byzantine chapel, all other theories were finally excluded.
Mount of Beatitudes – History.
In the earthly life of Jesus Christ on the shores of the Sea of Galilee were cities and villages. And on the water ran the sea routes of merchant and warships. There were always a lot of fish in the sea. This trend continues today: it has over two dozen items.
Jesus Christ chose for his ministry a hill near the coast: Capernaum, Bethsaida. Therefore his followers were fishermen and residents of the settlements. In this area, the teacher tamed a sea storm! Which suddenly began during the preaching.The height of the hill is just over 100 meters. This corresponds to a mountain with very small dimensions. It is worth noting that the exact location of the place from which Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount is not fully known. There are only approximate information. Obtained from the words of pilgrims and Gospel texts.
Prior to archaeological excavations by Father Bellarmino Bagatti, sermons were held next to Tiberias on a mountain with two peaks. After these excavations in 1935, a turning point occurred. Archaeologists have found the ruins of an ancient Byzantine chapel.
Fragments were found at the remains of a small chapel, and are parts of it. Fragments served as a sufficient reason for the construction of a new church. But a little further. One and a half km from the Byzantine chapel. It was chosed a picturesque area with unique views.
As a result erected Temple soon named – Mount of Beatitudes. The hill offers a wonderful view of the ancient sea. View unconsciously begin to feel by you the peace and harmony inside.
Mount of Beatitudes – Today.
Many places of Jesus ministry in the Galilee are in sight, including the city of Capernaum,3 km away. A little lower is the Cove of the Sower, where it is believed that Jesus taught the parable of the sower (Mark 4: 1-9) from a boat moored in the bay.
The exact location of the Sermon on the Mount is not known for certain. Pilgrims celebrate this event in the octagonal Church of Beatitudes, built on the side of a mountain. Accessible by a side road branching off the motorway from the city of Tiberias.
The Mount of Beatitudes is also understood as the place where Jesus met his apostles after His Resurrection and ordered them to carry the teachings into the world.
The spacious slope of Mount of Beatitudes provided enough room for a large crowd to gather and hear Jesus Christ.
The Byzantine church was erected nearby in the 4th century, and it was used until the 7th century. The Church of Beatitudes an elegant octagonal building with colonnades, rather merges with the slope than dominates it. The eight sides of the light and airy church represent the eight commandments of bliss. Commandments are also shown in Latin in the upper windows.
Galilee and Mount of Beatitudes.
The entrance to the Basilica of the Nativity is so small that it resembles a hole.
Mount of Beatitudes is located above the settlement with the Arabic name Tabgha in the Upper Galilee. Going to Capernaum, pilgrims unknowingly may not even pay attention to this hill. From which the Savior spoke the words of the gospel commandments of bliss. And this is in vain, because it was here just a little less than two thousand years ago that events unfolded for centuries known to Christians around the world.
The mountain from which these words sounded, perhaps the most important for the entire era of the New Testament. Like a natural amphitheater over Sea of Galilee, where the sound of a human voice is carried far in the air.
Mount of Beatitudes – Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus taught verbally, not in writing. Matthew notes that he was seated before speaking. Typical Jewish teaching position.
Scientists suggest that Matthew’s narrative is not a tale of a sermon delivered on one occasion. Rather Matthew took the main sermon and added various teachings that existed at different times.
Biblical scholar Peter Walker comments: “The tranquility of this beautiful place may be a little useless here, if you believe that the words of Jesus were calm and soothing. When in fact it was radical, demanding, authoritative, revolutionary and countercultural. Jesus called Israel to a new way of life.”
Christian center on the top.
At the top of the Mount of Beatitudes is the Christian center for gatherings, research, and retreats called Domus Galilaeae (Galilee’s House), opened in 2000. It is located just over 1 km from the ruins of ancient Chorazin.
The center and the adjacent monastery belong to the Neocatechumenal Way, the Catholic movement for Christian education. Its striking architecture was designed by the founder of the movement – Kiko Arguello.
The library specializes on books on the Sermon on the Mount. The chapel has a large painting by Arguello, combining eastern and western Christian symbols and paying tribute to the Jewish roots of the Church.
Architecture of the Sermon on the Mount.
Antonio constructed the building in the shape of an octagon. The temple is crowned with an octagonal copper dome and a tower with bells. The number “eight” was not chosen by occasionally. First of all, it reflects the commandments of Jesus. It was reflected in the windows of the dome. The question arises, why are eight, not nine in terms of the number of commandments. The answer is simple: the ninth is similar to one of eight.
Secondly, number eight was endowed with special properties by the ancient priests: symbol of fate, harmony and the natural balance of nature. It consists of two rings that can be easily combined in one place. It reflects the connection of the spiritual and material worlds. This is a symbol of the octane number of Buddha. In addition, the figure of eight in horizontal style is a sign of infinity.
At the entrance to the church there are no decorations as in other temples. Icons are replaced by numerous windows through which you can admire the biblical places.
Artist Mistruzzi worked over the altar. At the rotunda, it is made of marble and decorated with precious stones. The artist’s works found application on church windows. It shows the way of Jesus.
An altar in the center is crowned with an elegant arch of alabaster and onyx. Around it seven virtues – justice, mercy, prudence, Faith, perseverance, hope and abstinence. It was depicted by symbols on the mosaic floor.
The Franciscan Brotherhood serves the Church and hotel (a special home for pilgrims). The territory of the Temple belongs to the Italian Catholic community. Today everything is modernized: cars, shops and other amenities are open to visitors.
The cornerstone of the Saint Peter is left in the church. The blessed stone is intended for Christian pilgrims.
The church can be seen from afar, so it is easy to find. When you cross the Sea of Galilee, you can enjoy the magical landscape that opens from all sides. Around the church there is a beautiful park with wonderful trees.The landscape garden has three altars for group worship.