in this mystery by our own baptism. When most of my protestant friends were wandering around I went to the river dipped my hand in the water and made the Sign of the Cross thanking the Holy Trinity for my own participation in what Jesus originated here. Maybe I will never again touch the water of this River but the grace of the Holy Baptism keeps touching me very deeply to shape me according to the image of Christ.
other as different groups were moving into the city. Megiddo is also mentioned in many biblical narratives. Its king was one of the Canaanite rulers defeated by Joshua when the people of Israel was taking over the land afar their wandering in the desert. It was rebuilt by King Solomon, and it was the site where two Judean kings – Ahaziah and Josiah met their deaths. For millions of Christians, Megiddo is the Armageddon from St John’s Apokalypse, where the forces of Good will defeat the forces of Evil in the Final Battle at the End of Days. In 1964 Pope Paul VI came here to meet the President of the State of Israel to hold a reconciliation service on the side that has seen so many battles and deaths.
For most of us Catholics the Mt Carmel is associated with the Virgin Mary whom we call Our Lady of Mt Carmel. Carmelite Fathers still live, work and pray here like the hermits of the first centuries who chose this Mountain Range for their home. The statue of Our Lady in the church isn't big but because there are very few decorations inside you cannot miss it . Very firmly she seems to show her Son Jesus to the visitors.
ships. The movie we watched which showed how they created the artificial port
amazed me at the scale of the project. We have visited some placed built by Herod like Herodium or Masada but honestly I believe that Caesarea stands out among all architecture achievements of the King. I cannot understand why he didn’t want to be buried here. After his death the city had an interesting history of earthquakes and wars that destroyed it but what touched me is the city’s connection to Christianity. The Acts of the Apostles mentioned the place many times. Here St Peter baptized Cornelius, here Philip arrives after converting the servant of a queen. However the city port saw St Paul setting out for his missionary journeys. Herod built this city to invigorate the economy of his kingdom but he also provided a way for the Christian Faith to spread from this Land to other parts of the Roman Empire. This port was also the last glimpse of the Holy Land St Paul must have caught as he was taken as a prisoner on his last voyage that would take him to Rome where he was martyred. However it wasn’t the last contribution of this city of the spreading of the Faith. In this beautiful coastal city a number of the early Church Fathers prayed and reflected on the depth of our tradition. In 3rd centur Origen wrote his magnificent reflection on Christian doctrine while living here. In 4th century St Eusebius was a bishop here and wrote the first Church History. St Gregory Nazianzus, St Basil the Great, St Jerome and many others came to study here as the city had a magnificent Christian library of 30 000 manuscripts. I can’t help thinking that what Herod created here was a Christian hub. Once he tried to murder the Baby Jesus to keep his position safe but in mysterious plans of God his pride city of Caesarea was to become a stop for many early Christian missionaries setting out to preach Jesus.