Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Church of the Beatitudes (1938)
The Church of the Beatitudes is a Roman Catholic church maintained and overseen by the Franciscan Order, located by the Sea of Galilee near Tabgha and Capernaum in Israel.
The word ‘beatitudes’ originates from the Latin words “beati”, which means ‘blessed’, which is the prefix of each verse.
The traditional location for the Mount of Beatitudes is on the north western shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret (Ginosar). The actual location of the Sermon on the Mount is not certain, but the present site (also known as Mount Eremos) has been commemorated for more than 1600 years. The site is very near Tabgha. Other suggested locations have included the nearby Mount Arbel, or even the Horns of Hattin.
Located on a small hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee, and built on the traditional site of Jesus delivery of the Sermon on the Mount. Pilgrims are known to have commemorated this site since at least the 4th century.
The current church sits near the ruins of a small Byzantine era church dating to the late 4th century, which contains a rock-cut cistern beneath it and the remains of a small monastery to its southeast. Part of the original mosaic floor has also been recovered and is now on display in Capernaum.
Design and Construction
The modern church was built between 1936 and 1938 near the site of the fourth century Byzantine ruins. The floor plan is octagonal, the eight sides representing the eight Beatitudes. The church is Byzantine in style with a marble veneer casing the lower walls and gold mosaic in the dome. In front of the church are mosaic symbols on the pavement representing Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, Temperance, Faith, Hope, and Charity.
The ceiling walls have a shape of an octagon, and on each side there is a window with one of the eight verses in Latin.
The church was commissioned by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and designed by the architect Antonio Barluzzi.
Biblical Account Matthew 51:12 (NIV)
1Now 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.
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.
11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
2. Sacred Destinations.com