Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. George's Monastery

On the road between Jerusalem and Jericho is the steep canyon of Wadi Qelt. This area is know as a naturalist retreat with waterfalls, wildlife, and remains of Roman Aqueducts. Due to the isolated nature of this area, many monastery where built here. Among them is the 5th century St. George's Monastery built into the rocks.

The Monastery was established by a few monks who sought the desert experiences of the prophets, and settled around a cave where they believed Elijah was fed by ravens.

1 Kings 17:5-6

21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

5So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD; for he went and dwelt by the Brook Cherith, that is before the Jordan.

6And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank from the brook.

The traditions attached to the monastery include a visit by Elijah en route to the Sinai Peninsula, and St. Joachim whose wife Anne was infertile, weeping here when an angel announced to him the news of Mary's conception. The bones and skulls of the martyred monks killed by the Persians in 614 CE can still be seen today in the monastery chapel.

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