Antiochus Strategos part 18


    In the valley there is a church of our Lady andl the church is her tomb (not that her body lies at rest there, but as a memorial to her). After praying there, he climbed Mount Olivet,which is near to the valley at its eastern end-the valley lies betveen Jerusalem and Alount Olivet. On Mount Olivet there is now a church on the spot where our Lord prayed before His passon and said to his Disciples: ” Watch and pray that ye enter nct into temptation.” Then he came to the very hill whence our lord ascended into heaven.

    In the centre of the church is a bsautiful candlestick sculptured in bronze: it is square and stands ia the middle of the church where our Lord ascended into heavel In thle middle of the bronze candlestick is a square vessel of glass, and in the glass is a small lamp, and round about the lamp, c]osed on all sides, is the glass. The reason why it is closed on all sides is that the lamp may burn both in good weather and bad.

    Between the pillars and the wall

    The church has no roof and is open to the sky, and two pillars stad there inside the church, one against the northern wall, theother against the southern wall. They are placed there in remembrance of the two men who said: “Men of Galilee, why standye looking up into heaven?” Any man who can squeeze his body beetween the pillars and the wall is freed from his sins.

    Then he came to the place where the angel appeared to the shepherds and said: “I announce to you tidigs of great joy.” Thence he came to Bethlehem, where our Lord was born, about six miles distant from Jerusalem. The place where our Lord was born was formerly a cave underneath the glound and is now a square chamber cut out of the rock; the earth has been dug away on all sides and thrown aside, and now the church has been built above it. There our Lord was born.

    An altar has been raised above it also, but another small [portable] altar has been made, so that when they wish to celebrate Mass within thecave they can take up the small altar whilst Mass is being saidad afterwards can take it out again. The church which stands over the spot where our Lord was born is built in the form of a cross, a house of great beauty.

    Read More about Antiochus Strategos part 8


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