Newsletter Newsletter: In the footsteps of Jesus - Ein Karem August , 2 , 2019

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In the footsteps of Jesus - Ein Karem August , 2 , 2019

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A Weekly Roots Journey
Jerusalem Biblical MarketLtd
EIN KAREM The Church of the Visitation
Down the hill from Jerusalem’s famed Hadassa Hospital sits the tranquil Village of Ein Karem, Spring of the Vineyard, still set among the wooded hills on the outskirts of the city.
Although not mentioned by name, according to age-old tradition it was here that Mary came after the angel Gabriel informed her that her cousin, Elisabeth, was six months pregnant despite her advanced years. It was this visit that gave the main church of the village its name – the Church of the Visitation.
Luke’s is the only gospel to describe the meeting between the two women in which Mary spoke the immortal words that we now know as the Magnificat. Decorated plaques engraved with the words in many languages adorn the walls of the courtyard of the church. They mark the meeting that took place in the home of Elisabeth and her husband Zachariah. His statue stands in the pleasant garden surrounding the church.
Zachariah was a priest in Jerusalem’s Temple, and it was while he was on duty there that the angel Gabriel appeared to tell him of Elisabeth’s imminent pregnancy. Zachariah was so unbelieving that he was struck dumb until the birth of their son, John, who grew up to become John the Baptist.
*My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Luke 1:46-48
Inside the grotto in the church is a stone behind which it is said, the infant John hid when Herod sent out his troops to slaughter all the newborn infants of Bethlehem. Above the Grotto’s niche, a mural on the wall depicts the events of that awful day.
Close to the church in the center of the village is the Spring of Mary of Nazerth, where the Virgin is said to have rested before the final climb to her cousin’s house. Thirsty visitors still refresh themselves here with the well’s cool waters.
Now an attractive suburb on the rural outskirts of Jerusalem, Ein Karem is a wonderful place to spend a peaceful day away from the bustle of the busy city, leisurely walking the streets with their artists’ studios and galleries nestling beside ancient churches. Or one can make Ein Karem the base for a visit to Jerusalem, enjoying the hospitality of its hostels, such as the one at the Convent of the Sisters of Sion
This page is part of the book The Holy Land of Jesus
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