The Mount of the Beatitudes is the traditional site where Jesus uttered the immortal words of the beatitudes and the most wonderful principles of the blessed life. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5) In 1937, the Holy Land Franciscans built a church over the mount with a view of the lake. The spacious slope of the Mount of Beatitudes (also known as Mount Eremos, a Greek word meaning solitary or uninhabited) would have provided ample space for a large crowd to gather to hear Jesus.
The Church of the Beatitudes, an elegant octagonal building with colonnaded cloisters, blends into the slope rather than dominating it. The centrally placed altar is surmounted by a slender arch of alabaster and onyx. Around it, the seven virtues (justice, charity, prudence, faith, fortitude, hope and temperance) are depicted by symbols in the mosaic floor. In the landscaped garden, three altars are provided for group worship.