Dear Friends of Magdala:
Please receive a warm greeting from Mexico where I am currently finishing a long stay due to a back treatment I was receiving here. To my surprise my stay here coincided with Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico who continues to surprise us with his acts of humility, profound humanity, and integrity of life.
Exciting news from Magdala continues which confirms to us the providential inspiration of God and of the many good things that can be done through this holy site.
As in previous years, a large contingent of volunteers from Chile has arrived who have taken on the task of excavating the port of Magdala. The port is found right beside Duc in Altum some 50 meters from the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Among the most recent and exciting findings we have are two bronze objects, a medium sized vase, and a small shovel, which according to archaeologists at first glance, was used to add coal to an oven. Alongside this the Chilean volunteers have uncovered the continuation of the port buildings where various small sized pools have been brought to surface. Archaeologists presume that these pools were used by fishermen to keep their catch alive and fresh during the hot months so they could later use the fish when necessary. These new findings further solidify the previous research that places Magdala as one of the main fishing towns of the first century in the Galilee, and confirms Flavius Josephus description of the town in his writings.
In the Magdalena Institute, preparations are underway to host the second symposium on the dignity of women that will take place in Magdala during International Women´s Day. We will keep you updated next month on the outcome of it.
Finally we get to update you on the guesthouse. I’ll let the images speak for themselves. Thanks to God and to the generosity of many of you, the construction is progressing at a good pace. Please remember that we have the 1000-day campaign of which, 238 days have passed, and in which we set the goal to finish this building. Whichever donation you give, no matter its size, is important to us. There is no donation too small, all, like the droplets of rain, are important to help us finish this project.
As always I ask for your blessings. Magdala is a spiritual project before all else. This is truly confirmed by the experiences which we see everyday with those that visit us. We need your prayers and donations to continue and finish uncovering and developing Magdala as a place where Jesus taught.
Ensuring a special intention for you in my prayers, I remain fraternally yours,
Fr. Juan María Solana, L.C.