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On pilgrimage in Tabgha, where Jesus worked miracles

It is located about three kilometers west of Capernaum, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee: Tabgha, the place where Jesus worked miracles. This place was described by the pilgrim Egeria toward the end of the fourth century, in a 12th-century text by Pietro Diacono. Three biblical episodes are said to have taken place in Tabgha: the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7), the multiplication of the loaves and the fish (John 6:1) and the conferring of the primacy to Peter (John 21) with the apparition of the risen Jesus to the apostles. For some time now, a fraternity of Franciscan friars has guarded the sanctuary on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, but only for the past six years did an annual pilgrimage start to take place there.

This year, it took place on May 18, in the presence of faithful coming from Galilee, of religious and pilgrims, and of the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton. The chairs were placed outdoors, despite the strong heat, while a small boat served as an altar. The celebration focused on the Gospel of the Primacy of Peter. “It is important that in this celebration we all listen to the voice of Jesus, who asks us, ‘Do you love me?’” said Fr. Francesco Patton in his opening words. The Custos of the Holy Land has invited us to answer ‘yes’ to the Lord and to do what he asks of each of us.

Then Br. Antonios Habib, from the parish of the Annunciation in Nazareth, gave the homily in Arabic. “Jesus, before giving Peter the task of forming the Church, asks him if he loves him, to manifest the love between him and Jesus, between all Christians and Jesus,” said Br. Antonios. “Jesus asked him three times, because Peter denied [knowing] him three times. And with every time that Jesus asked this, he erased every one of Peter’s denials. Only when Peter says: “You know that I love you,” according to the priest, does he begin to become a witness with his life. “We all know what Peter had to go through and then he was crucified,” added Br. Antonios. “If we truly love Jesus, we must be bound to him with a relationship of love. And we must know that this relationship must exist at the cost of our lives.”

In addition to the heartfelt participation of the faithful, the mass was enlivened with songs by the Nazareth parish choir.
Br. Wojciech Boloz, the superior of the Tabgha fraternity, invited everyone to a reception and thanked [them] for the day of celebration: “It is a joy for us to see the sanctuary energized in this way and people are the life of the sanctuary.”

Beatrice Guarrera

2018-05-18 Part 01

2018-05-18 Part 02

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Events calendar


Vigil of Christmas. Bethlehem: 13.30 Entrance of the Archbishop & I Vespers - 16.00 Procession - 23.30 Office & 00.00 Mass - 1.45 Procession to the Grotto


Nativity of the Lord. Bethlehem (St. Catherine): 10.00 Mass Shepherds' Field (Greek & Catholic): 14.00 Pilgrimage


Feast St. Stephen, Protomartyr. St. Stephen: 16.00 Pilgrimage


Feast of the Holy Innocents. Bethlehem:10.00 Mass - 14.00 II Vespers (Vicar CTS)


Octave of Christmas. Beit Sahour: Holy Angels ad pastores

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