A Spiritual Journey through Jesus’ Galilee
The Galilee is at the very heart of Jesus’ life. Here, we’ll retrace his steps and, through the land, focus our attention on the landmarks that have shaped his path and have laid the foundations for the essence of the Christian faith. After all, it is not for nothing that the Galilee has often been referred to as ‘Jesus Land’.
We’ll begin our journey by driving up north through beautiful, green landscapes. While on our way, we’ll have the opportunity to see the distinguished Valley of Isra-El, more widely known as the ‘Valley of Armageddon’. This is believed to be the future site for the final battle at the End of Times.
Such a spiritual journey can only have one place as its first stop: the city of Nazareth. The childhood village of Jesus, where he spent most of his short life, is full of meaning for millions of Christian followers worldwide. A good place for us to start exploring this is the remarkable Church of Annunciation, built at the very spot where, according to tradition, the arch-angel Gabriel had announced the upcoming birth of Jesus to his mother, Mary, while informing her of the role he will be fulfilling for all humankind.
Right next door to it, we’ll find the Church of St. Joseph. Here, according to tradition, stood both Joseph’s house and his carpentry workshop. Beholding this humble beginning will allow us a glimpse into how Jesus’ childhood environment was shaped.
We’ll then head onwards from this mountainous city to The Sea of Galilee. On the way, we’ll briefly pass through Cana, where Jesus performed the first of many miracles, known as the Wedding (or the Wine) Miracle.
A very significant stage in Jesus’ life awaits us right ahead, on the Mount of Beatitudes. This is where the famous and quintessential Sermon on the Mount was delivered. We’ll visit the beautiful church that the architect Antonio Barluzzi had built eighty years ago and we’ll try to understand together why this place, more than any other, is so important to all of the different Christian denominations.
As the blue waters of the Sea of Galilee shimmer in the sun, beckoning us, we’ll make our way to Tabgha which lies on the sea’s shore. This is the wonderful backdrop to our visit at the Church of the Multiplication, where Jesus performed the notable miracle of the Loaves and Fishes.
Our main stop for the day, however, is Capernaum. Not only is this the village where Jesus spent three years of his life, residing in the house of St. Peter’s mother-in-law, but it’s also where he took a step that most people will describe as cardinal, the setting up of his own ministry.
Our day will be concluded with an enjoyable stay at the unique River Jordan baptismal site known as Yardenit. This spot, where the Jordan River departs the Sea of Galilee on its way to the Dead Sea, will allow us to get an idea of what it was like for Jesus, as well as many others who came to the river, to be baptized by John the Baptist.
Should we have the time, we’ll make a quick stop in the vicinity of Kibbutz Degania. In this place, immortalized in Israeli poetry, we’ll recount the story of the kibbutzim movement, which has no parallel outside of Israel.
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