'''Capernaum''' (Kfar Nahum) was a settlement on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The site is a ruin today, but was inhabited from 150 BC to about AD 750. The town is known for its mention in the New Testament gospels, and was reported to have been the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James, and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew. According to the gospels, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum, and the building of that period has been found beneath the remains of a later synagogue. One house in the village was venerated as the house of Peter the fisherman as early as the 2nd century AD, with two churches having been constructed over it.
The gospels give us a clear picture of Jesus’ activity at Capernaum, what he did on the lakeshore and in particular in the synagogue and in the house of "Peter and Andrew" (Mk 1: 29). This house was not only the place where Jesus lived, but was a "house of formation" for his disciples, a beautiful and eloquent image of the Church. The evangelist Mark sheds more light on Peter’s house in the mystery of the Church.
After proclaiming the parables and other teachings to the crowds nearby at Tabgha, place of the "public teaching", Jesus would give the "private teaching" back at Peter’s house: "To you has been given to know the mystery of God’s kingdom; but to those outside everything is told in parables" (Mk 4: 11).
According to tradition, Tabgha ou Heptapegon, is the site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes (Mk 8, 1-9). Interesting mosaics adorn the pavement. In the presbytery of the German Benedictine monastery close by, the altar is built on the stone on which Jesus is said to have stood when he performed the miracle. In front of it is a mosaic showing the basket with the loaves and the two fishes.
Seen from the ferryboat, the Mount of the Beatitudes appears in the distance on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, with the church visible on its summit. It is traditionally the place where Christ delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
Nearby, two miles north of Tiberias is the agricultural settlement of Migdal. This is near the ancient town where Mary Magdalene was born. Further north is the town of Tabgha, one of many sites in the Galilee where Christians of the early Byzantine period built monasteries, churches and shrines to commemorate the ministry of Jesus and the miracles ascribed to him. Tabgha is the traditional site of the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes.
(Matt. 14: 13-21).
Traditionally, it is also the place where Jesus after the resurrection appeared to his disciples in Galilee. "The eleven disciples went ot the hill in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him they worshipped him, even though some of them doubted. Jesus drew near and said to them, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, to the end of the age."
(Matt. 28, 16-20)
Father John De Ridder offering Holy Mass on the Mount of the Beatitudes in the new church built in 1937. It is constructed of local basalt. For the arches white stone from Nazareth was used, and Roman travertine for the pillars. From the arcaded ambulatory around the octogonal building there is a magnificent view of the Sea of Galilee. The eight sides of the church are each dedicated to one of the Beatitudes which Jesus pronounced at the beginning of the Sermon (Matt 5, 3-10). The dome symbolises the ninth beatitude (11-12).
According to tradition, HEPTAPEGON "The Place of the seven springs", Tabgha in arabic, is the site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes (Mc 8, 1-9). Here also, is found the Primacy Chapel or Church of St Peter which commemorates the appearance of the risen Christ to the apostles here on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus tranferred primacy over the Church to Peter with the three-fold instruction "Feed my lambs, Feed my sheep, Feed my sheep" (Jn 21, 15-17).
Sea of Galilee - the risen Christ appears to Peter
On the seashore, a striking statue brings into sight the scene of the famous passage in Jn 21, 15-19:
After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? " "Yes, Lord," he answered , "you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Take care of my lambs."...