According to the tradition, the Mount of Beatitudes is the place where Jesus gave his important sermon on the mountain. A church, monastery, hostel and gardens and farm are located on the hill, above Tabcha.
The sermon has 9 verses, each starting with “Blessed the…” or in Latin “Beati …”. The Latin word gave this hill its name – Beati-tudes. In this place is a Roman Catholic Franciscan church, monastery, hostel, gardens, farm and a visitors center.
Mathew 5: 1-3: “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the…”
The mountain is located above Tabcha– 175M higher than the sea of Galilee, yet 35M under the Mediterranean sea level.
It is approached by a road that climbs up from Tabcha junction, via Vered-Hagalil, towards Rosh-Pina and Upper Galilee.
An aerial photo is shown below, indicating the major points of interest.
Photos of the Church :
The beautiful Basilica of the Church of Mount of Beatitudes was built during the 1936-1938 to a design of the Italian famous church architect, Antonio Barluzzi. The following photo shows the church from the north-east side, where the visitors enter.
Click on the photo to view it in higher resolution…
Another view from the south-west side.
The interior of the church, from the side of the sea of Galilee, is seen in the following photo. The verses and symbols related to the sermons are written on mosaics on the floor of the church and around the altar, as can be partially seen in the photo below.
The ceiling walls have a shape of an octagon, and on each side there is a window with one of the eight verses (although there are nine), starting with “blessed are…”, or in Latin: “Beati …”.
Popes that Visited the Church :
In the entrance to the church are on display ornaments that were donated by the visiting popes:
- Paul IV (1964)
- John Paul II (2000)
The Gardens :
This is the view of the beautiful Gardens and the Monastery building on the north side, past the entrance doors. In the Garden are small assembly areas where groups gather, sit, listen to their pastor reading from texts and sermons, chant and other religious rituals.
The garden has statues, benches and signs with excerpts from the Bible.
Some of the marble stone excerpts from Matthew, in this case Mt 5:10 (Latin): “Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter justitiam: quoniam ipsorum est regnum cælorum” – “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.
New Testament References:
(a) Matthew 5: 1,2
This text describes the sermon on the mountain (chapters 5-7), which according to tradition was located on Mt Beatitudes:
“And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases”;
Sermon on the mountain – by Gustav Dore (French artist, 1832-1883)
(b) Luke 6:17-20
This is another text on Jesus sermon before the multitude.
“And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God”.
(c) Luke 7:1
The next chapter provides a hint on the place of the mountain. It reads (Luke 7:1):
“Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.”
Thus, the mountain is located near Capernaum as believed by most Christians, and Mount of Beatitudes is located close to Capernaum.
(d) Matthew 5 3-11:
The sermon on the mount focuses on 9 verses:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake”.
Etymology (behind the name):
Beatitudes – originates from the Latin words “Beati” – blessed, which is the prefix of each verse.
Mount Nahum – the name of the hill. 35M under sea level, 175M above sea of Galilee.
Mount of Happiness (Osher) – the Hebrew name, based on the Hebrew translation (Beati = Ashrei)
- Footsteps of Jesus – This pictorial presentation is arranged by BibleWalks staff. The Beatitudes and the sermon on the mountain is listed in event #32.
- Horns of Hittim – another site identified with the location of the sermon on the mountain
- Biblical pictures by Gustave Doré (1832-1883)
BibleWalks.com – walk with us through the sites of the Holy Land
This page was last updated on Feb 13, 2012