By Junno Arocho
Entering one of the many halls at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), participants are forming huge lines to attend a very unique tour. The three dimensional exhibit, called Through the Eyes of the Apostles: Life Overwhelmed by a Presence, gives people the opportunity to take a guided tour through Capernaum where, according to Scripture, Jesus lived during his public ministry.
“This exhibition was first displayed in Rimini, at the Meeting for Friendship among Peoples,” said Maria Martin, an exhibitor and member of Communion and Liberation who, along with the Icarus Foundation, sponsored the tour. “It's a recreation of the village of Capernaum and shows the encounter between Jesus and the Apostles, and shows how their lives where transformed by that event.”
The exhibit, which is based on archaeological findings at Capernaum, recreates prominent areas during the public ministry of Jesus Christ. Along with information and multimedia, it allows visitors to feel as though they are touring Holy Land.
According to Martin, the exhibition is visited by thousands a day, and many who are touched spiritually by it. “We have had huge feedback, everybody comes out happy from the exhibition, some people are incredibly moved by it,” she said.
“I had a man last night who came out and said that he had been suffering for years, and when he read a passage about Peter, where Jesus asks him, "Do you love me?" he saw that all Jesus wanted from him was a friendship, especially after everything Peter had done. [The man] said that it had turned his world upside down. And that is just one man's experience; everybody has their own story as they come out of the exhibition.”
Although the future of the Capernaum exhibition is uncertain, the exhibitors are hoping that it can continue to be featured at other international events. “When we came down in the car this morning with my children, we prayed the Angelus and we asked if God wanted to take this anywhere else after we dismantle it because we don't know what will happen,” said Margaret Biondi, a fellow exhibitor and member of Communion and Liberation.
“We said a prayer to our founder [Fr. Luigi Giussani, founder of Communion and Liberation], and said that if something is to be done with this, let us know pretty quickly, because we're coming to the end of the road. We've had inquiries [regarding the exhibit] though.”
Both Biondi and Martin concurred that the archaeological findings displayed at the tour has aided visitors in understanding the Gospel.
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