Today, the Second Sunday of Lent, we normally read the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Traditional- ly, we say that this event occurred on Mount Tabor in northern Israel. Luckily on my trip to Israel in 2012, I visited Mount Tabor. Unfortunately, it was almost completely fogged in, so we didn’t get to see much when we were up there, except for the beautiful Church of the Transfiguration. This Church as well as the Church of All Nations (at Gethsemani), the Church of St. Lazarus in Bethany, the Church of the Beatitudes, Dominus Flevit on the Mount of Olives and the Church of the Visitation at Ein Karen were all designed by an exceptional man: Antonio Barluzzi. All these churches just so happened to be my favorites. Barluzzi was the thirteenth child of his parents and even as early as five years old he was sketching churches. Although he was never ordained as a priest, he became a Franciscan monk and ultimately became known as the “Architect of the Holy Land.” Although he was awarded and praised for his work, he never paraded his hon- ors around, and was, until his death, a deeply humble man. He simply praised God with his designs. In the Church of the Visitation at Ein Karem, there is a beautiful mural. One character on the mural appears a bit out of place sporting a bow tie and modern apparel, staring out at us who visit. It is Barluzzi himself. The most remarkable thing about him: he never received any pay for his work, except probably a place at the eternal banquet. He died in 1960.
Quick Inspiration “Only the educated are free.” -Epictetus