A titular see of Palestine. Its name (also KAPERNAUM) means village of Nahum or consolation. It is frequently mentioned in the Gospels : Jesus, when repelled by the Nazarenes, made it His new abode ( Matthew 4:13 ; Luke 4:31 ; John 2:12 ); He chose there his first disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew ( Matthew 4:18, 21 ; 9:9 ; Mark 1:16 ); He cured there the centurion's servant, Peter's mother-in-law, a paralytic, a demoniac, the Hæmorrhoissa, etc.; it was there that He brought to life again the daughter of Jairus, and delivered many discourses, especially the one concerning the institution of the Eucharist (John 6). The inhabitants, however, at the instigation of the Pharisees, broke off with Him, and Jesus, on leaving their city, cursed it ( Matthew 11:23 ). Under Constantine the Great, Count Joseph, a converted Jew, built a church there which the pilgrim known as "Pseudo-Antoninus" visited in the sixth century. Since then the town has not been mentioned in the history of Palestine. It was never a Greek see, nor even a Latin one in the Middle Ages. Lequien, it is true (III, 719), quotes a document concerning the ecclesiastical province of Scythopolis in Palestina Secunda, wherein we read: "Ibi sunt adhoc Bethsaida, Naim et Capharnaum, sed alio nomine vocitantur nec habent episcopos". Just when it became a Latin titular see is not known, the title now being held by the coadjutor to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Capharnaum must be identified with Tell-Houm on the north bank of the Lake of Tiberias. There are splendid ruins there, chiefly of a magnificent synagogue seventy-two feet long and fifty-four feet wide. In a little convent on this site some Franciscans reside for the reception of pilgrims. According to some archaeologists the site of Capharnaum is not at Tell-Houm, but in the vicinity, on the way to Tiberias, either at Khan-Minieh or at Aïn-Tabigah. In the latter place the Cologne Catholic Society conducts an agricultural colony.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online