Friday, December 21, 2012

Mary on a donkey en route to Ein Kerem


Enlarge the photo (click once and then again)  and you will see Mary on the road from Nazareth to Ein Kerem, accompanied by walking and flying angels.
Said to be built over the home of John the Baptist's parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, the Church of the Visitation stands high up on the hillside of Ein Kerem.

In Luke 1:39-55  the pregnant Mary visited her pregnant cousin Elizabeth and this "visitation" lasted for three months.
When Mary arrived, the unborn John  recognized the unborn Jesus and "leaped with joy" in Elizabeth's womb.
Elizabeth exclaimed, "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" and Mary sang a hymn of thanksgiving known as the Magnificat:

Behind the statues of Mary and Elizabeth are over 42 plaques of the Magnificat in different languages.

The modern (1955) church was designed by the prolific and gifted Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi.


  1. That is a really lovely version of Mary on the road from Nazareth to Ain Karem, accompanied by the angels. Is it painted or mosaics? Painting would be finer, but more vulnerable to weather. Mosaics would be less fine, but more robust when exposed to rain.

  2. It must have been quite a moment when Mary and Elizabeth greeted one another. And I always wondered, how did Mary travel from Bethlehem to Judea...was she accompanied by brothers or her parents...the Bible makes it sound like she hopped in her car and drove there to us modern readers....

  3. Helen, I'd say it is a mosaic.
    However, BibleWalks calls it a "mosaic painting." What does that mean?

    Sara, you make ME start to wonder now too.
    This depiction of Mary accompanied by angelic travel companions is striking. I'd have thought she needed a male human to take her such a long way.
    On modern Route 6 it is 144 km from Nazareth to Ein Kerem and driving takes about two hours.

  4. It is a beautiful mosaic/painting. Interesting to see the real places where all this stuff was said to occur.

  5. That is a very long way! I like this story. It is wonderful mosaic and a special place.

    Happy weekend Dina:-)

  6. I learn a lot reading your words.

  7. The painting and the details on the plaque are beautiful, and I love that the Magnificat is displayed in so many languages.

    Aside from the religious significance of the story, it must simply have been a joy—and a relief—for the two stressed (though joyful) women to see and be with each other again. I do not wonder that the visitation lasted three months.

  8. It was so interesting to see the interaction between Mary and Elizabeth.


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