In the Creed, we confess our faith in the future event that Christ “will come again to judge the living and the dead.” When Christ returns at the end of time, where will this judgment occur?
According to Catholic tradition, the Messiah’s final judgment of every single human being will occur at the Valley of Josaphat In fact, Saint Thomas Aquinas affirmed in at least three places that the Last Judgment will occur at the Valley of Josaphat, cf. In IV Sententiarum 18.104.22.168; Quodlibet 10.2; Summa theologiae Supp, q.88, a.4. Other Catholic authors that describe the Valley of Josaphat as the location of Christ’s judgment are Jerome, Honorius Augustodunensis, Rupert of Deutz, Robert Pullen of Oxford, Peter Lombard, Richard of St. Victor, Magister Bandinus, and Martín of León.
In Joel 4:2 we read the following:
“I will gather together all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Josaphat: and I will plead with them there for my people, and for my inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and have parted my land. Nations, nations in the valley of destruction: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of destruction” (Joel 4:2, 14)
In Hebrew Josaphat mean “Jehovah Judges.” Jews reckon this location to be the place of final judgment, as do the Muslims. According to Saint Jerome, the Antichrist will also be slain at the site of the Valley of Josaphat (Commentarii in Danielem, CCSL 75A).
According to some traditions, Saint Joseph was buried in this location.