Waking up in Nazareth on the 2nd day of our pilgrimage, this is the early dawn view from my room.
We started off early as it was going to be a long day. We passed by fields and rolling hills.
Below was our itinerary for the day.
Basilica of the Transfiguration
Located in Mt. Tabor, this Franciscan church is traditionally believed to be where the Transfiguration of Christ took place (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36).
Mt. Tabor offers a fantastic view of the plains and villages below.
Sea of Galilee
In Kibbutz Ginosar, a museum has been built to house the ancient boat which is believed to be “The Jesus Boat”. This 7×26 foot boat which can accommodate up to 15 individuals, dates back from the time of Jesus.
A kibbutz is a community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture and upheld the principle of equality.
What could be more apt to do in the banks of Galilee than ride a boat, reminiscent of Jesus boat ride where he showed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves (Mark 6:35-52)?
While it is called the Sea of Galilee, it is actually a lake, the largest freshwater lake of Israel. The lake was very calm and the boat ride, serene.
Mount of the Beatitudes
One of my favorite churches in this trip, the Church of the Beatitudes is situated on a small hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. It is believed that this is the site where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20).
The church is Byzantine style and the floor plan is octagonal to represent the 8 Beatitudes.
Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes
This church commemorates Jesus’ feeding of five thousand (Mark 6:30-44) just before Jesus walks on water.
Church of the Primacy of St. Peter
One of the most pleasantly located churches for me, being in the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This church commemorates the reinstatement of Peter as the chief among the apostles.
Mensa Christi or “table of Christ” is incorporated into the altar. It is believed to be where Jesus served fish to his disciples for breakfast after they landed on shore (John 21:9).
Behind the church is the sea of Galilee. We were given time to soak our feet in the waters if we wanted. The waters were crystal clear and the lake gives the church a more serene and calm ambiance.
Called the “Town of Jesus” being the center of Jesus’ activities in Galilee and his town during that time (Matthew 4:13). This town is also the hometown of the apostles Peter, James, Andrew and John and the tax collector Matthew.
This is the modern church which was built on top of 5th-century church built over what is believed to be the house of St. Peter.
This is the 5th-century octagonal Byzantine church above St. Peter’s house. The octagon shape was typical of early churches and structures.
Apart from the church, the ruins of one of the oldest synagogues in the world can be seem in Capernaum.
Lunch was befitting of our theme for today – the Sea of Galilee. We were brought to an open-air restaurant by the shore of the Sea of Galilee affording us a good view of the calm lake and a few boats sailing. Lunch was rice and St. Peter’s fish.
Yardenit’s water flows into the Jordan River and is a popular baptism site. It is believed to be the site where Jesus baptized John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13).
Church of Cana
Cana of Galilee is where Jesus performed his first miracle in public, the turning of water into wine at a wedding feast (John 2:1-11).
The Franciscan Wedding Church has two levels. The upper church has a chapel and the lower church has a chapel and a small museum of artifacts excavated from the site. One stone vessel on exhibit is believed to be one of the jars used to perform the miracle.
Wedding wines are a popular souvenir from this place.
It was a long day again but we didn’t feel tired as we were all looking forward to each site that we will visit. And just like Day 1, we reached our hotel late.
Day 3 is another full-packed day. Stay tuned!