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Church of Beitphage

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Picture: Chebishev

(c) Daniel Amarilio

Please give  Humanity wisdom
To eliminate the Poverty in the World.
So that the rich become richer.
So that no Poverty exists.
So that no  Parent bury his Child.
So that our wonderful Planet is safe.
So that we to live with Joy, in Peace and surrounded by Love.
So that we will glorify You through our short lives, finished even before
being conceived.
So that to hear New prayers coming from every human’s heart,
Which is the same for every Human in this World, independently rich or
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Because I believe only in Goodness..
(Amarilio's Prayer)

During construction of a Franciscan monastery in the year 1876, a wondrous stone was revealed. Shaped like a cube and covered in plaster, the rock had been an integral part of a twelfth-century Crusader church once located in the ancient village of Beitphage. The Crusaders believed that Jesus used this rock to mount the colt before taking that last fateful journey to Jerusalem. It is called the Stele (stone monument) of Beitphage.

Yet the site where the stone was discovered had been considered holy for hundreds of years before the Crusaders constructed their sanctuary. In fact, there was already a shrine in Beitphage in the fourth century. That chapel commemorated the encounter between Jesus, Lazarus, and Martha. The Crusaders built their church on top of the Byzantine remains and decorated the stone - which had probably become detached from the rest of the rocky slope - that stood on the site. Ancient Latin inscriptions on the rock relate to biblical events which occurred in the area and specifically mention Jerusalem and Beitphage. In 1950 the once splendid paintings on the stele were restored; five years later frescos were drawn on the walls of the nineteenth-century sanctuary. Of course the main focus of the church is the Stele of Beitphage, set apart by decorative wrought iron railings and illustrating events that occurred here and in nearby Bethany. Behind the rock is a mirror, so that visitors can easily see the drawings on all four sides.The church ceiling is quite impressive, with features scattered drawings of flowers and leaves. They are rather whimsical, and reminiscent of rose petals that are strewn before an important personage. Most likely, they symbolize the foliage so evident in the biblical procession.

Natalia Staikova


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