Monday, November 22, 2010

Feeling welcome at St. Stephen's Monastery

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Many cities in the world have an Open House weekend once a year.

Jerusalem had her Houses From Within weekend last month with over a hundred significant sites open to the public free of charge, some with guided tours.
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But no one anticipated the huge turnout at St. Etienne/St. Stephen's Monastery, home to the prestigious École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem!

Curious Israelis crowded into the basilica, filling every pew and even the monks' choir stalls.
Many had to stand. Or we sat on the floor.
Who ever heard of such a thing?!
In one Shabbat afternoon alone, about a thousand Jews came to see and hear (and that's not counting the morning tours and open house)!
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One lone man stood in front of the throng and without a microphone explained this place, his home. He somehow made himself heard, and he also make himself understood and appreciated.
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Thank you for your gracious guidance, Fr. Jean-Michel de Tarragon, O.P. [Order of Preachers, i.e. Dominicans], priest, friar, scholar, teacher, photographer, and the in-charge of a huge old photo archive from glass plates.
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I see on the Internet that yesterday the Catholic Church had a day to honor men and women religious, those called to the vowed life, the monks and nuns of the cloistered and contemplative vocation. Pro Orantibus Day (For Those Who Pray).

God bless all the monastics, of whatever kind, in every country.
This post is for "That's My World," and I must say, without these Brothers and Sisters our world would be a poorer place.
In case you missed Frere Jean-Michel's guided tour, you can enjoy a 12-minute video walk through St. Stephen's and the Ecole here.
Great photos and info in French here.
And other posts and links are under my label "Ecole Biblique."
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16 comments:

oldmanlincolnsblog said...

I wonder if the acoustics in the church are such that you could hear a whisper anywhere inside the building?

VP said...

This is really a great place to visit. Are these the guys of the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Dina said...

Shalom Abraham. No, not THAT good.

VP, right you are, the guys of the Dead Sea Scrolls. :)

Reader Wil said...

A great place to visit, Dina! A great place for praying and honoring people who dedicate their lives in the service of God.
Thank you Dina. Thank you also for your visit and comforting comment.

Rob and Mandy said...

Lucky you! This is an important place.

Robin said...

My goodness, what a crowd! Sounds like a fascinating talk, too.

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Alice said...

I just can't tell you how much I love your blog.

Amiko said...

would love to visit Jerusalem, some other time...

ρομπερτ said...

A manifest of the Good.

Please have a great Tuesday.

daily athens

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, fabulous, Dina. I've read about the Ecole, but haven't seen any pictures of it before. A very interesting place.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

J Bar said...

Great looking church.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Kay said...

I LOVE it that so many Jewish people were interested in the Christian monastery. That speaks of peace... to be open to each other. If only everybody could be that way, if only the world could be that way. This is a start.

Arija said...

The quiet voice can often make itself heard like no megaphone could. A wonderful place and post.

Hilda said...

What a beautiful post for some (not all, unfortunately) beautiful men and women. I would have loved to be there with that crowd.

Turquoise Diaries said...

You are right its such a big crowd, its always so good to visit new places and get new info..

Suzanne said...

Who knew? Nice post Dina and thank you for making me love Jerusalem even more.