Victor Guérin (1821-1890)

Description géographique, historique et archéologique de la Palestine: Galilée, I, Paris 1880.

On the voyage that he undertook in May 1875, Guérin visited with a keen spirit of observation a large part of Galilee. His Description géographique offers us a careful account of his travels, with a wealth of topographical annotations. Regarding Capernaum, his description of the synagogue of the Roman centurion is particularly noteworthy:

“It was in this synagogue that Our Lord pronounced his wonderful discourse reported by St. John, and where the great mystery of the Eucharist was so divinely exposed.
“One would think that the remains of a monument that has heard such words and seen such prodigies should be cherished by all Christians. And indeed it was with a profound respect that I contemplated them, in the conviction of having before my own eyes the authentic ruins of the synagogue of Capernaum. It is, alas!, painful to think that these sacred relics are disappearing from one day to the next and are condemned to perish almost entirely whereas, on the contrary, they should be preserved with an almost religious dedication.”

Description géographique, historique et archéologique de la Palestine: Galilée, I, Paris 1880, pp. 226-239.