Travel

The Holy Land Pilgrimage: Day 2

Waking up in Nazareth on the 2nd day of our pilgrimage, this is the early dawn view from my room.

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We started off early as it was going to be a long day. We passed by fields and rolling hills.

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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).

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Façade of The Basilica of the Transfiguration

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Nativity Scene at the Basilica grounds
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The wall above the church door bearing the Latin inscription of the passage from Matthew 17
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A mosaic above the main altar showing Jesus floating in the air above a cloud. He is flanked in between prophet Elijah on the right and Moses on the left.
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Another mosaic painting on the south side of the hall
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At the monastery yard
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view from Mt. Tabor
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At the Basilica garden
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At the Basilica garden

Mt. Tabor offers a fantastic view of the plains and villages below.

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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.

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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)?

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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.

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Golan Heights on the other side of the lake.
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).

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the church altar

The church is Byzantine style and the floor plan is octagonal to represent the 8 Beatitudes.

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one of the eight verses adorning the windows of the church
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floor mosaic of the church
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an excerpt from Matthew 5:3-11 in marble stone
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overlooking the Sea of Galilee
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.

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The Church of Multiplication as seen from afar

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church interior

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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.

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The church’s façade

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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).

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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.

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the church taken from the Sea of Galilee’s shore
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crystal clear waters of the Sea of Galilee
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the water is believed to contain miraculous powers, so I grabbed myself some 🙂

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Capernaum

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.

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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.

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This is the 5th-century octagonal Byzantine church above St. Peter’s house.  The octagon shape was typical of early churches and structures.

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The glass-enclosed church foundation

Apart from the church, the ruins of one of the oldest synagogues in the world can be seem in Capernaum.

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The remains of the 4th-century synagogue

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Lunch

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.

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Jordan River

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).

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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.

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Facade of the Franciscan Church
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The Nativity Scene display in the church

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A stone vessel excavated at the Franciscan church

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Excavations under the Franciscan church

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!

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