We're almost done with our walk in the Sisters of Sion convent in Ein Kerem, but you still have to see the cemetery.
I like how the tree shadow bends to walk up the stairs to a door to I know not where.
(For Shadow Shot Sunday, of course, and Monday Doorways too.)
The deceased and their visitors have a great view over the convent wall to several other churches and monasteries in the Jerusalem Hills.
The convent was built in 1860 and many of the Religious of Our Lady of Sion (and some of their friends) are buried here.
No worries, the ancient ossuary is just for decoration, not for the Sisters' bones.
It was discovered on a nearby hill.
Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne died in 1884 and is buried in this place that he built and where he lived for several decades.
His last words are engraved in French under Mary's feet:
" Oh Maria, remember thy son who was conquered by your love."
Ratisbonne was born to a French Jewish family but while visiting a small church in Rome he had a sudden conversion experience.
He said that Mary appeared to him and without words taught him everything he needed to know about the Catholic faith.
He went all the way and became a Jesuit priest and a missionary to the Holy Land.
His older brother had converted much earlier; Fr. Marie-Theodor Ratisbonne founded the monastic order and gave them a biblical verse as their foundational text.
You can read it here on Alphonse's grave:
"IN SION FIRMATA SUM" meaning "In Zion I will establish my dwelling."
Wikipedia says this about Theodor:
"In the 1820s, Ratisbonne joined a wave of apostasy in the French Jewish community triggered by a sense that the Jews could not achieve full integration in French society as long as they remained Jews. Ratisbonne reached the conclusion that there was a fundamental incompatibility between Judaism and French citizenship."
The rocks placed on Alphonse's grave in the traditional Jewish custom of showing respect always make me sad, thinking about these two ex-Jewish brothers.