Light a Candle
CHURCH OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
(click on the candle)
(c) Daniel Amarilio
Catholic - Franciscan Order
Located in the Jerusalem suburb of Ein Karem
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
So that we will glorify You through our short lives,
finished even before
So that to hear New prayers coming from every humans
Which is the same for every Human in this World,
independently rich or
poor, white or colored, Abraham or Buddhas children.
Because I believe only in Goodness..
Little remains of the Byzantine sanctuary which once commemorated
the birth of John the Baptist. However, unlike other houses of
worship constructed over holy sites in Jerusalem, it was not
destroyed by seventh-century Persian or Moslem invaders. Instead,
this church was apparently ravaged 200 years earlier, during an
uprising of Israel's Samaritans.
The Church of St. John the Baptist was rebuilt by the Crusaders, but
after they left the Holy Land the sanctuary was either destroyed or
fell into complete disrepair. Most of the church was restored in
1674 with the aid of the Spanish royal family (their coat-of-arms is
located above the entrance inside the sanctuary). Many of the
paintings are originals, drawn by Spanish artists and donated by
Spanish kings. Further work on the church was carried out in the
nineteenth century, again with Spanish assistance. This included a
new marble altar for the grotto, donated by Queen Isabella II of
Very interesting is the fact that twenty-three tile plaques cover a
wall outside of the church (the 24th is located around the corner).
On each panel, in different languages, is the famous prayer known as
the "Benedictus". Recited daily during morning prayers, the
Benedictus consists of the first words spoken by Zechariah after the
birth of his son.
Surely, nothing quite prepares you for the ornamentation inside the
church, and the quantity of shiny marble. Built over Crusader ruins
in basilica style, three aisles are separated by six massive square
columns. The church is replete with fabulous works of art. Of these
perhaps the most impressive is a series of unique three-dimensional
gilded creations depicting the Stations of the Cross. Their wooden
frames are shaped like chapels; the colors are deep, and the facial
expressions intricately detailed.
A wonderful little museum is located a bit further down that same
wall. Pass through the door to see fabulous embroidered vestments,
superb candlesticks, gold and silver vessels, splendid ancient
icons, and the "comunichino": tongs used for distributing the Holy
Communion to people suffering from the plague.
Copyright Povertyvision and Daniel
Amarilio © 2001-2003