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Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built over Calvary - place where Christ was crucified, entombed and where he resurrected from, stands in a very central place within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. However, as we can easily imagine, at the time of Jesus, the topography of the Holy City varied a lot from the present one.
The Gospels describe Golgotha (place of the Skull) as a garden just outside the walls of Jerusalem. That clearly means that the procession leading Jesus to death must have left the city through one of the city gates - the Judgment Gate.
It was only around 41 AD, when the Holy City was enlarged towards northwest
It is said that the Armenian presence in Jerusalem dates back to the earliest years of Christianity. Even before 301 AD, which was the year in which Armenia became the first country that adopted belief in Christ as its national faith.
As early as in 154 AD, bishops of Armenia together with those of Jerusalem and Alexandria, worked actively on finding the spots of the holy sites related to the activities of Jesus.
Who was St. Catherine of Alexandria?
One belief states that St. Catherine was born in the 4th century to a noble family in Alexandria, Egypt. She became Christian as a teenager and was martyred by a pagan emperor Maxentius. At first, he ordered her to be tortured on a wheel, however the wheel immediately broke when she touched it. She was beheaded instead.
Restoration work on the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem is beginning this month - the first major roof enhancement in over 500 years. The roof renovation is expected to last 1 year and is intended to protect the artistic heritage of the roof from the risk of further water damage.
While the Church of Nativity is in good condition the Basilica roof needs to be completely restored. Rain leaks inside and the water and humidity are ruining the mosaics inside the Basilica of Nativity.
The initiative was launched three years by the Palestinian Authority and an agreement was signed between the Authority and representatives of the three churches that share the administration of the Basilica, the Armenian Catholics, the Greek Orthodox and the Catholic Church.
The Church is considered one of most important symbols of Christianity. In 2012, the Church of Nativity became a protected UNESCO world heritage site.
"The fact tha
“After the Lord Jesus had talked with them [apostles], he was taken up to heaven and sat at the right side of God.” (Mark 16:19)
After his resurrection, Christ appeared to his disciples many times. However, after 40 days since he was brought back to live, Jesus rose up to heaven. According to Evangelist Luke, it happened close to Jerusalem, in the area of Mount of Olives, on the way to Bethany.
“Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull”. (Jn 19:17)
Jesus Christ was unjustly pronounced to death, however, he did not oppose to the given sentence for it was his wish and act of an unconditional love to die for our sins and be a redeemer to us. He was crucified and later entombed on a hill called Golgotha in Aramaic, Kranion in Greek, and Catvary in Latin, which means ‘skul’. This was also the place of his resurrection.
Via Dolorosa, also known as Way of the Cross is situated in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is the route that traditionally traces the steps of Jesus Christ on the way to Golgotha, the place of his crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
For centuries pilgrims have followed the Via Dolorosa daily, even though its path might not be exactly the one that Christ took on the last day of his life, as it has changed over the centuries together with the topography of the town. However, what is important, is the tradition and purpose of commemorating Christ’s passion under the cross.
One of the most Ancient Surviving Churches in the World
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke both discuss the birth of Jesus and each infer that Mary and Joseph were from Bethlehem. Matthew infers that Mary and Joseph only later moved to Nazareth because of Herod’s decree, while Luke indicates that Mary and Joseph were from Nazareth but only traveled to Bethlehem because of a special census. In both stories, however, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, possibly according to the Gospel of Luke, in a manger because there was no room at the inn.
Christianity was declared as a lawful religion of the Roman Empire by Constantine in 313 AD. After Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, the Emperor and his mother Queen Helena ordered construction of three churches honouring great events of Christ’s life. The Nativity Church in Bethlehem was one them, beside the churches which mark the sites of R
A recent study pertaining in part to the history of the olive trees situated within the Garden of Gethsemeen indicates the trees can be dated to the middle of the twelfth century, making them at least 900 years old. Moreover, it is quite possible that the trees are even more ancient than that because the dating only refers to the exposed part of the tree and not to its roots.
The scientific research, which was completed under the auscpices of the Custody of the Holy Land, began in 2009 and was publicized for the first time last Friday (October 19, 2012). The results also correspond to the the construction of the Basiilica of Gethsemane, built around 800 years, and during which time the olive trees may have been arranged or rearranged in the garden.
All eight trees possess the exact same genetic fingerprint meaning that all have the same 'genotype' and were likely derived from the cuttings of branches from the same single olive tree.
Custos Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, presented the results of the study along with Massimo Pazzini, dean of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem, Professor Giovanni Gianfrate, project coordinator, agronomist and expert on the history of olive growing in the Mediterranean, and Professor Antonio Cimato, coordinator of the scientific research, the first researcher of Tree and Timber Institute (Ivalsa) / CNR in Florence .
The Custos noted the importance of these
According to the tradition, the idyllic hillside of Mount of Beatitudes in the Galilee was the place where Jesus Christ gave a special teaching to His disciples and other gathered believers: “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain; and when he was set, his disciples come unto him. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven…’” (Matt. 5:3) In total, the sermon consisted of 9 blessings gratifying humble and merciful behavior.
While climbing the hill, a pleasant wind from the Sea of Galilee was cooling our arms and faces. And when we reached the top of the mount, the seashore view and the red-flowered trees captured our attention. The contrast of the vivid colors and the black basalt stone created a great visual composition.