Pinsteps. Deir Hijleh the church of St Gerasimus of the Jordan

The revival took place only in the second half of the 19th century. When the Greek Orthodox Church began the revival of the monastery of St. Gerasimus at the site of the structures of Crusaders. During this process, a desert fortified monastery was erected around the central courtyard with a well. The murals in the church tell the story of Gerasimus and the lion. There is a fresco that depicts the prophet Elijah who ascends to heaven in a chariot of fire. The bones and skulls of the monks rest in the church. According to local tradition, the bones belong to the monks who died during the time of the Persian invasion. The element of martyrdom is a central element in this tradition, although historically and archaeologically, it is difficult to assert the authenticity of such a legend.

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Evgeny Praisman
Jordan River and the Dead Sea. Jan 2, 2020

Traveling to the place of baptism on the Jordan River and the ancient monastery of Deir Hijleh takes only an hour and a half. This one and a half hours bring us to a fantastic story. The Jordan River is associated primarily with the baptism of Jesus Christ from John the Baptist. The place where these events took place is called in Arabic Qasr El Yahud - the court of the Jew. The centuries-old tradition of baptism was renewed after the signing of a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel. The border between the countries runs along the river, and only a few meters are divided between them. Not far from the place of baptism is one of the oldest monasteries on the Dead Sea - the monastery of St. Gerasimus. It was one of the first monasteries of Koinonia. The walls of the monastery remember the battles of Muslims and crusaders. The skulls of monks pretend to be the bones of the martyrs of the Persian conquest. A journey of ten kilometers takes us on a tour of twenty centuries. Do not miss this adventure on the Dead Sea.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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