Mount of Beatitudes: The Past & The Present
While the exact location is unknown, the Mount of Beatitudes has been commemorated as the place where Jesus delivered the famous Sermon on the Mount. This is Jesus’ discourse of Matthew 5-7 where he lays out 8 “Blessed be…” statements. It is a fitting locale as its placement coincides with the clues found in scripture and since the 4th century, it has been believed to be the sacred location.
A gorgeous church was built here in the 1930s by the Roman Catholic Church with the backing of Benito Mussolini. It is maintained by the Franciscan sisters to this day. Designed by famed Italian architect, Antonio Barluzzi, the church features a stunning octagonal dome where the 8 sides are representative of the 8 Beatitudes expressed in the sermon. The eight “Blessed are” statements can be found in beautiful stained glass in the dome’s 8 upper windows.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
From the church grounds, visitors can look out to stunning views of the Sea of Galilee and take a moment to reflect on the famous words that were spoken there long ago. Flanked by beautiful palms and immaculately maintained gardens, it is undoubtedly one of the most serene and lovely of Israel’s Biblical sites.
America Israel Tours gives its travelers the opportunity to enjoy this momentous site while tracking Jesus’ ministry through Galilee. Following an unbelievably tranquil but emotionally moving boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, I remember sitting on the garden steps and reflecting upon how blessed I was to be in this beautiful landscape where such momentous events occurred. It is truly a place that touches the soul.