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Saint Mary of the Resurrection Abbey Crusaderes' Emmaus, Abu Gho

Travelujah / Explore / Saint Mary of the Resurrection Abbey Crusaderes' Emmaus, Abu Gho

Crusaders' Emmaus in the Holy Land

The abbey is situated in the Judean Hills at an altitude of 770 meters, in the hollow of an amphittheatre formed by three hills. It is situated in the heart of the Muslim village of Abu Ghosh, through whichpasses one of the traditional roads linking Jerusalem with the coast.

History of the Crusaders' Emmaus in the Holy Land

Archaeological excavations have shown that human presence goes back tot he Neolithic period (6000BCE). Nomads became sedentary, apparently because of the spring. Leter, the site is mentioned in the Bible as Kiriat Baal (Josh 15:9-10), a town on the border between the tribers of Judah and Benjamin; and as Kyriat Yearim, a hill dominating the village where the Ark of the Covenant was (1 Sam 6:2 1 ff.) until David brought it up to Jerusalem (2 Sam 6:2). A thousand years later, the Romans came and built cisterns to preserve the spring water. During the Arab period, the site was transformed into a carabanserai. 

In 1143, the Crusaders (the Hospitaller Order of ST. John, now the Order of Malta) identified the site with teh village of Emmaus and built the crypt and the church, using as its foundation the Roman reservoir. While standing by the crypt today you can still hear the water flowing below though it is no longer in use.  At the end of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (1187) the site was abandoned, but the church remained standing.

In 1873, the Sublime Porte gave it to the Frendch Republic. and in 1900 a monastery was built at the church's chevet by Benedictine monks from th French province of the Subiaco congregatation.  They were there untio 1953, when the monks of Belloc left the site to the Lazarist Fathers and then in 1976 the Beneditines took it over when a group of monks from the Bec-Hellouin Abbey (in Normandy, France ) of the congretion of Saint Mary of Monte Oliveti (near Sinea, Italy) came. A year later they were joined by a group of nums from the same region.

Description of Saint Mary of the Resurrection Abbey

The Crypt is built on two leves, the upper leve where the chapel is now and the lower level just around the spring.

The Church is in the style of a basiclia with three equal naves that are Romanesque in style.  The easter half of the church is adorned with a number of extraordinary Byzantine-era frescos/ They were damagaed by the humidity but were restored and visitros can appreciate their exception pitorial quality. The frescos were painted between 1150 and 1175.

The abbey is open for visitation daily except Sundays and Feast days from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 2:30 to 5:30 pm.

Prayer Schedule:

Sundays and Feast Days:

Lauds at 7 a.m.

Mass at 10:30 am

Vespers at 5:00 pm



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