This past November I made my first trip back to Israel since my pre-pandemic trip in January 2020. I thought I would share a few impressions and photos from our recent trip.
One of my favorite places to visit, especially for prayer and meditation, it is the Church of the Beatitudes which overlooks the Sea of Galilee from the north.
View looking west at the Church of the Beatitudes. The church was designed by Antonio Barluzzi and was completed in 1938. It commemorates Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5–7) and more especially the Beatitudes (Matt 5:3–10). Italian sisters administer the property.
Upon arrival at the church it was sad to see that another fire had almost reached the church itself—it seems like there is a serious fire almost every 4-5 years.
One of the sisters wrote:
A “miracle” saved the Church from destruction during the afternoon of July 14, 2022, when a devastating fire raged on the grounds of the sanctuary. Because of strong winds, the fire spread rapidly jumping from one tree to another and eventually to some of the buildings. After long hours of exhaustive work by the heroic crews of the firefighting aircraft and fire trucks, the fire was brought under control.
But the fire, unfortunately, caused extensive damage to the roof of our Church; our places of prayer; the olive trees on our premises; and the workers’ residence at our pilgrimage site. With the help of aircraft, the fire was eventually extinguished.
In the words of Sister Telesphoro, the director of the sanctuary, we ‘witnessed a miracle in the protection of our God.” Fortunately, there were no casualties.Church of the Beatitudes Galilee