Day 3: Galilee
Updated: Feb 5, 2020
What a day! We started our day with Mass at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Katie was VERY pleased to hear 44 beautiful voices sing out on all the hymns, as she led on guitar. We went down to the bottom level of the Church of the Annunciation to see an ancient church from the fourth century built over the home of Mary and Joseph.
Then we took off to Galilee for a lunch at St. Peter's Restaurant which specializes in fish from the Sea of Galilee. We drove into a kibbutz, learning more about communal living and then took off on a boat ride on the lake! We started with the American national anthem, prayed together and then sang some songs, including "Lord, When You Came to the Seashore." It was WINDY and we understood a little better how the disciples could be so afraid out on the boat with a storm. We were thankful for no rain!
Just a short drive away is Capernaum, the base of Jesus' ministry, and the hometown of St. Peter. We saw Peter's home, specifically his mother-in-law's home, and the ancient ruins of the town of Capernaum, including its synagogue. A few minutes away in Tabgha is a church built over the rock where Jesus made breakfast for his disciples called the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter, remembering Jesus' call to Peter to 'feed his sheep'. The pilgrim, Egeria, visited the area in 380 AD and documented that locals said Jesus walked off the shore of Galilee, up a set of stairs and to a rock where he cooked a meal. This location has a set of stairs walking up to a rock. Many pilgrims lit a candle for those they are remembering and touched the rock, imagining Jesus being there 2,000 years ago.
Our day also included the Mount of Beatitudes, just up the hill from Capernaum and Tabgha. Pilgrims had time to walk the beautiful grounds, maintained by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This site was also commemorated by the pilgrim Egeria in response to local tradition. We have been so fortunate to have not just one priest, but two priests on our trip! One of our pilgrims is a Jesuit priest from New York, traveling alongside his sister from San Diego. Both he and Fr. Kelly offered the Sacrament of Reconciliation for any of the pilgrims who wanted it. Others chose to sit next to Katie and sing "Blest are They" on the steps of the garden. Others walked or sat in prayer, remembering Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes.
It was truly a beautiful day and one that was meaningful for so many in this group.