The main road from the ancient port of Jaffa to Jerusalem followed the route of Route 433 slowly climbing up the central mountain range of Israel by way of the mountain tops, rather than the up and down rollercoaster route of Route 1 from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem today. During the period of the Crusader Kingdoms there was a migration of miracle sites to various places on the southern route. One of the most popular being Emmaus where according to Christian tradition, Jesus first appeared after the Resurrection. Pilgrim traffic during the Crusader period between miracle sites made this route to become the popular route to Jerusalem. It’s popularity kept it as the main road to Jerusalem to this very day.
Emmaus-Nicopolis, also know as Imwas, عِمواس is a village described as being not far from Jerusalem, but the identification of its particular location is not certain.
This particular village, which was the ancient city of Nicopolis, has been identified as the biblical Emmaus since the fourth century, and became an important pilgrimage destination throughout the Byzantine era and Middle Ages. Modern scholars think this site is highly unlikely to be the biblical Emmaus, mainly because it is too far from Jerusalem.
Today Emmaus Nicopolis is the site of excavated ruins of a Byzantine basilica with Crusader renovations, a small archaeological museum, and an interesting modern monastery of a Catholic sect.
The Catholic Community of the Beatitudes
The Beatitudes Community is one of the Catholic Church ‘New Communities’ born in the after Vatican II in the movement of the Charismatic Renewal. It was founded in France in 1973. The Beatitudes Community was recognised by Rome as one of the new forms of consecrated life in 2011. The world Beatitudes Community comprises 1500 members, almost 100 priests, 40 seminarians, 350 consecrated sisters, and hundreds of Lay members, spread in 70 houses, in 30 countries, and all continents.
The Community is present in Israel since 1975. The members come here to pray for the full Redemption of Israel and to work for the mutual understanding and reconciliation between Jews and Christians. Since 1993 they take care of the Holy Place of Emmaus, receiving here pilgrims and visitors.
When you are in Emmaus use this convenient cell-phone app: