Garo Nalbandian

“The demons … entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned” (Luke 8:33). Thus Jesus freed the tormented man from his affliction of demons. The early Christian fathers, in the late third century, fixed the site of the “swine miracle” at the mouth of Wadi Samak, which opens from the valley of Kursi onto the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, seen in the background. To commemorate and preserve the site and to serve the needs of pilgrims, a monastery with a basilica, right foreground, and a small chapel (from which this photo was taken) were built here in the late fifth or early sixth century. After a devastating earthquake in 746/747 A.D. and complete abandonment of the holy place at the end of the eighth century, alluvial soil covered the site until its rediscovery in 1970.