Thursday, April 1, 2010

A heavenly sky

I was outside the entire day on guided walks in Jerusalem and the Judean Hills.
Can't believe I came home without a sky photo for SkyWatch Friday.

Instead you can enjoy the heavenly dome of a church!

A round church!
Our guide was able to arrange a visit inside.
 Most people have never seen what lies beyond the high stone wall and locked gate. We were lucky today.

The church was begun in the 1880s and completed in 1927.
The convent, school, and hostel belongs to the Catholic Arab women's order called the Congregation of the Rosary Sisters. It is the only native congregation of the Holy Land.
The order's cofounder, Mother Marie-Alphonsine, born in the Old City in 1843, was beatified just a few months ago.
The sisters went to Arab countries in order to educate girls and raise the "dignity and nobility" of women.
By now they have one million graduates.
The place is a beautiful island of tranquility in the middle of busy west Jerusalem's Agron Street.
I don't blame the sisters for not opening their gates very often.
UPDATE Oct. 8, 2014:   See a short video about the Rosary Sisters in the Holy Land.


Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What a treat to get a tour like that.

Kcalpesh said...

It's beautiful and rightly it needs to be kept protected from any damages! Great captures!

Happy Easter from: Pixellicious Photos

EG Wow said...

Unique design for a church, Dina. Did the tour guide tell you if the shape has any significance? The sisters have a noble and challenging mission.

Dina said...

Yogi, yes indeed, although we didn't see a single soul inside the compound.
The AACI Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel always offers interesting walking tours during holiday weeks (like Passover and Chanuka). For about $12 only.

Shalom Kcalpesh. I'm glad you like it. But I suspect what the nuns want to protect is their silence and solitude.
Happy Easter to you, soon.

Dina said...

EG Wow, the guide said Marie-Alphonsine received ongoing inspiration and instructions, i.e. "heard voices," from Mary, Queen of the Rosary, on how to built the church over many decades.

Leif Hagen said...

It's a magnificent holy place of worship!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

"It is the only native congregation of the Holy Land" that caught my interest. I saw a show at the Getty on Icons from Sinai. One of the oldest works was that done by Palestinians.

Laura Hegfield said...

A beautiful inner sky Dina. Chag Sameach.

Pietro said...

What a beautiful church, really peaceful. I'd like to see it in person. It's so interesting what you say on the inspiring voice of the Virgin Mary. At Medjugorie there are still daily apparitions but the Church goes carefully about them.
Happy Easter, Dina

Dina said...

Leif, you can come attend a service. But it will be in Arabic.

PA, I'd love to see those old icons from Sinai.
I copied that "It is the only native congregation of the Holy Land" from the official Zenit article. I feared it might sound a bit confusing. Apparently "congregation" is how they refer to a religious order. It means the Rosary Sisters are the only monastic order that was founded in Israel. Or so I understand.

Laura, "inner sky," that's nice!
Chag sameach.

Pietro, at the beatification in Nazareth, the Latin (Roman Catholic) Patriarch of Jerusalem
spoke of how Blessed Marie Alphonsine received repeated visits from the Virgin Mary, who asked her to found "a local congregation of religious for the daughters of her country, which should take the name Rosary Sisters."
So you say the Church doesn't quite know what to do with the ongoing apparitions at Medjugorie?

Reader Wil said...

Again a very interesting post. We Protestant people can learn again a lot from you about the rites in the Roman Catholic Church. We use them more and more in our churches as well.
Thanks for your wishes, Dina. Today is for me a painful day. How can people then and now be so cruel! I can't stand war films abo .ut the concentration camps. I don't want to see "Sophie's choice" or "Shindler's List".

Reader Wil said...

I for get to say:"Shabbat shalom!

Spiderdama said...

What a great dome and pictures!

VP said...

A very different skywatch this time, in a lovely church. A friend of mine would say that this is obviously a church of the Templars, just for the shape, but he says even stranger things...

Dina said...

Oh Wil, I know how you feel. Even watching the nightly news is often too much violence to see.
It's nice that Protestants are taking on more of "the good old ways."

Spiderdama, do you want to climb it?

VP, you mean the Knights or the Germans? Is there a tradition of roundness with either of the groups' buildings?
The (Orthodox) Ethiopian Church is the only other round one I can think of in Jerusalem.

JM said...

Very clever entry, Dina!