16 October 2017

On a Pilgrimage to Capernaum: from the time of the Gospel to today

Feast of Franciscans and Christians in the City of Jesus: an uninterrupted story, witnessed by archeology and by the living stones.


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The centurion who asked for the healing of his servant, the paralytic who was lowered through the roof, the (healing of the) sick mother of Peter's wife:
these are just a few of the episodes and miracles narrated in the gospels and set in Capernaum, a city on the Sea of Galilee where St. Peter lived and where Jesus spent the three years of His public ministry.

On Saturday October 14, the Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land celebrated together with pilgrims and local Christians the “Pilgrimage to Capernaum”, to remember Christ's life, to commemorate His preaching and the miracles He performed two thousand years ago.

Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land
"Jesus came in time, He met with real people, He stayed connected with these places. Jesus keeps doing the same things, that is, He has come to save everyone, to reach men of all times and all places."

Father Dobromir Jastal, Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land, lead the procession to Tiberias Lake and celebrated the holy mass in the memorial built in the late 80s on the ruins of the house of Peter and Jesus.

The excavations carried out in the 1960s by the friars of the Custody allowed to identify with archaeological certification the house, which, through the centuries, was transformed into a place of worship for the first Christians.
In the Byzantine Age, the place was rearranged as an octagonal church; it was later abandoned during the Arab period and purchased by the Franciscans in 1894.

During the feast, as a tradition, the end of the agricultural harvest is also celebrated and people thank God for the products of the earth, by distributing fruits to the present.

It is a story that has been going on, uninterrupted, until this day.
Pilgrims and Christians return to Jesus. They ask Him for a special blessing and thank Jesus or celebrate the Eucharistic mystery announced by the preaching of Jesus for the first time, precisely between these walls.

Christian (man) from Capernaum
"We came here to receive the blessing and attend mass in this holy place. This is something we try to do everywhere we go."

"We are here to pray for peace, to invoke Jesus, the son of Nazareth, and to wish everyone the best. From the Holy Land, we wish peace for the entire world.”