The Mount of Beatitudes
The Mount of Beatitudes is a small hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee with a Roman Catholic Franciscan church popular with pilgrims. This mountain on the Korazim plateau is believed to be the site of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount where he delivered eight beatitudes (beatitudes is Latin for blessing), The view over the Sea of Galilee is quite impressive.
VISITING THE MOUNT OF BEATITUDES
Directions and parking: Enter “Mount of Beatitudes” into Waze. The entrance road leads to a parking lot. There is no admission charge, but there is a charge per car for parking (30 nis) but free by foot.
Admission: The church is open from 8.00 to 11.30 am an 2.30 to 4.40 pm. After the parking lot there is a building with WC’s, a kiosk for hot and cold drinks and a gift shop. Shaded benches are set up for the kiosk, but people are requested not to picnic there. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org. They do have a guesthouse. This is their website.
There is no scriptural sources for this being the site of the Sermon on the Mount, but it was already identified and written about as such by pilgrims from the 4th century. The remains of a 4th century Byzantine church and cistern are lower down on the mount. The present church was constructed in 1938 for use by Franciscans nuns. It has an octagonal floor plan representing the eight beatitudes and the seven virtues are shown in the mosaic surrounding the altar. The inner dome contains golden mosaics.
The Sermon on the Mount is described in the New Testament (Matthew 5:3-11 and Luke 6) when Jesus spoke to his followers and pronounced eight blessings:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “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 children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The best views are obtained from behind the church. The church overlooks the fields of Gennesaret and the Sea of Galilee. To the right of the lake, you can see the city of Tiberias extending up from the Jordan Valley. To your left is the plain of the Golan Heights.