The Mount of Beatitudes, called in Hebrew “Har Ha Osher” is the site where Jesus preached his “Sermon of the Mountain” in Spanish “El Sermon de la Montaña”. This is probably the most famous sermon of all times. The hill, next to the church forms a natural amphitheater on the slope that goes down towards the Sea of Galilee. The view towards the lake is by itself an experience.
Church on top of the Mount of Beatitudes
Quote of Matthew Chapter Five
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him, and he began to teach 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”
“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men”
Located between Capernaum and Tabgha
There is no proof that it happened exactly here. Different versions place the historic event in other hills of the Galilee. The hill was once called Mount Eremos and is located between Capernaum and Tabgha. It overlooks the Plain of Gennesaret. Pilgrims have been drawn to this spectacular hill since at least the 4th Century. The spacious hillside provides enough space for large crowds. His Sanctity Pope John Paul II spoke to a large crowd here in March 2000.
Church of Beatitudes
In 1939 with the support of the Italian ruler Mussolini the noted architect Antonio Berluzzi, designed and constructed a catholic Chapel on top of the hill. In front of the church there are certain symbols representing Charity, Faith, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice. The church is in Byzantine style and it is built in an octagonal form representing the eight beatitudes
The late Pope Paul VI visited the church during his Holy land visit in 1964. He left his cloak that hangs proudly in the inside of the chapel.
View of Mount of Beatitudes from Sea of Galilee
Ruins of an ancient monastery
The ruins of an ancient monastery were found down the hill from the present church. A Byzantine mosaic was found there and is on display on nearby Capernaum.
There have always been some doubts about the exact location. But all agree that since Jesus was based in nearby Capernaum it is appropriate to think the Sermon of the Mount was on this hill nearby.
The visit to Mount of Beatitudes is an emotional visit. As I mentioned before in my many visits with pilgrims I could see their reaction. It is an awe inspiring sensation of faith and religious feeling.
images courtesy of wikimedia commons
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