In the Footsteps of “the Apostles’ Mission”

Mary Magdalene, fierce believer and loyal emissary to the Savior, provides an excellent “excuse” for pilgrims to visit her birthplace and home-base, the settlement Migdal, known in the Bible as “Magdala”.

Migdal, located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, served, already in Jesus’s lifetime, as a Jewish center for the residents of the region. This is evidenced by the town’s importance in the days of the revolt against the Romans, and the fact that it was the command center for Josephus Flavius’s (commander of the Galilee) soldiers.

Over the years, Migdal was decimated and re-settled a number of times, and at one point, by German Catholics who purchased the lands in the area and hoped to find the place of Mary Magdalene’s burial, but to no avail. Pioneers of the Jewish settlement established one of Israel’s first agricultural farms in Migdal, later becoming one of the major forces behind the habitation of the Galilee by the Jewish people in the 20th century.

Archeological digs excavated on-site in 2013, brought to light the history of the ancient township. Synagogues adorned with murals, a 7-stick menorah etched in rock, purification pools (Mikveh) and various symbols of Jewish culture. That is not all – the remnants of a Byzantine church and the ruins of the residencies of the town’s Christian inhabitants, dating back nearly 1,800 years, were also found in Migdal.

Now, picture the citizens of Migdal in the days of Jesus, awaiting his coming, trying to fathom who he is, maybe a prophet, maybe a saint, who would come to perform miracles and wonders, and save them from desperation. This is, without doubt, one of the more simple, but immensely powerful experiences a pilgrim will encounter. The location is near to all of the holy sites in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee, including the Jesus Boat Museum, Tabgha, and many other sites.

Image graciously provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority.

   Mary Magdalene, fierce believer and loyal emissary to the Savior