When you think of biblical Galilee it is easy to picture images in our minds of fishermen in their boats, Jewish seaside cities, Roman soldiers, and crowds gathering to hear the words of a humble Rabbi from nearby Nazareth. His name was Jesus.
Jesus spent the majority of his ministry in the Galilee region. It is in Galilee that Jesus established his home base, called his disciples, and performed many of the great miracles we read about in Scripture. Sincere pilgrims come to Galilee to visit these holy sites to deepen their faith experience and grow closer to their risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
A few years ago Father Juan Solana, the papal appointee in charge of Notre Dame of Jerusalem, the highly-rated pilgrimage guest house, felt the leading of Christ to build a retreat center in the Galilee. From the very beginning he envisioned a place where pilgrims could enjoy comfortable accommodations in a spiritual atmosphere on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
When construction began in 2009, no one could have imagined what God had in store. As workers began to dig the foundation for the guesthouse, they discovered a First Century Synagogue where it is certain that Jesus taught. Inside the synagogue they also found The Magdala Stone, a discovery many archaeologists call the most significant archaeological find in the past 50 years.
As archaeologists continued to dig, they discovered an entire first century Jewish town lying just below the surface. With only 10% of the archaeology uncovered, the hometown of Mary Magdalene already provides pilgrims an authentic location to walk where Jesus taught and to connect with the first century life of Jesus’ followers.
Magdala is a unique Holy Land site with a first century city where the Jewish residents gathered in a synagogue where Jesus visited and taught. It is home to the beautiful Duc In Altum, which provides a place for worship, mass, and prayer.
Because of its unique nature, Magdala will actively contribute to building positive relationships with the diverse community of Christian believers and between Christians and Jews. In the coming days, Magdala will feature excellent accommodations and an outstanding restaurant, in addition to an expanded archaeological park.
Magdala is truly the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history.