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Chapel that the Ascension —PHOTOS by LITO ZULUETA

May 24 will be Ascension Sunday, and since the coronavirus in the divine Land has resulted in the cancelation of every pilgrimages, expect the two sites associated with the Lord’s Ascension in Jerusalem to it is in bereft of pilgrims.

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The two sites are the Chapel that the Ascension and also the Church that the Pater Noster nearby, both ~ above the mount of Olives. Depending upon who you’re talking to, the two sites either contend with or complement one aisnother.

They compete because while Ascension is in the management of the Muslims, who speak to it the Dome or Mosque the the Ascension, the Pater Noster church is a Catholic church. Additionally it stands on land asserted by the French republic. In fact the French flag is proudly flown on the site.

How the two sites may enhance one one more will be discussed later.

Ascension is situated on the mount of Olives in one Arab-

majority community in east Jerusalem. The chapel or edicule was once component of a facility where it to be the central feature. The facility underwent changes throughout the centuries particularly after the final Muslim conquest in the 12th century.

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View the Jerusalem native the mount of Olives

Despite the alters wrought by religious and geopolitical vicissitudes, the edicule has much more or much less remained. In the 7th century, the Frankish monk-bishop Arculf explained the complicated as having actually a “central edicule containing the footprints of Christ, plainly and clearly impressed in the dust, within a railing.”

When this writer saw the edicule in 2017, the footprints the the Ascending Christ were stated to have actually been impression on a slab of stone that pilgrims can touch.

Fr. Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, OP, in his best-selling “The divine Land: one Oxford historical Guide” (fifth edition, 2008) called the Church the the Ascension the “Mosque of the Ascension,” because it is under the authority of the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem. One need to remember that till the modern era, the Muslim footrest Turks ruled the holy Land and also either replaced old Christian sites with Muslim landmarks or kept the Christian website while opened them for pilgrims.

Disputed sites

The Ascension rock or Hill, together the landmark is sometimes called because it is on a ridge, is part of the standing Quo, a much more than quarter-of-a-millennium decree through the ottoman empire and also affirmed by the treaty of Paris in 1857 which displayed the understanding among the spiritual communities—Jewish, Muslim, Latin Catholic, eastern Orthodox, Armenian Christians, etc.—regarding nine shared religious sites in Jerusalem and also Bethlehem.

Most that the sites are disputed between the Catholic Church and also other Christian denominations. Ascension is disputed between the Christian and Islamic groups.

It is because of this dispute and that that is under Islamic administration, i m sorry charges a modest fees from pilgrims, that some Christian groups, notably the Evangelicals, walk to the various other purported Ascension site—a grotto in the Church that the Pater Noster.

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Atrium reflecting ceramic plaques the the Pater Noster in miscellaneous languages

Very near the Ascension edicule, the Church the the Pater Noster is a Catholic church and so perhaps much less repugnant come Evangelicals and also other “Christians.” additionally it is devoted to the location where Christ purportedly taught the apostles the global Prayer. That is for this reason a much more ecumenical site to pilgrims of every Christian stripes.

Considered a French domain, the Pater Noster is run by French Carmelite sisters. It is a really pleasant-looking complex: one beginning an atrium with a well-tended garden of palm trees and also other tropic greenery. Around the garden under the sunlight happily glint a series of ceramic plaques on which room imprinted the Lord’s Prayer in various languages. The collection extends come the corridors and chapels the the church and priory, so that pilgrims coming from everywhere the people will have actually a merry time in search of their respective languages.

Overall there room some 140 translations of the our Father, truly the global Prayer.

Catholic Philippines is represented in the collection not just by Tagalog yet several various other Philippine languages. Throughout my visit, ns spotted Pampango, Cebuano, Ilonggo and Waray. Other Philippine pilgrims swore they saw much more Philippine languages.

Grotto or cave

Where is the Ascension spot in the Pater Noster church?

It is in the grotto or cavern “of the Lord’s teaching” in the Pater Noster complex. By tradition, this was where the very first Christians would certainly gather in the face of roman persecutions. They believed that this to be “the particular place” in Luke’s gospel wherein Jesus prayed alone before instructing the apostles or going around his ministry. Indigenous this location the very first Christians could spot the location where Christ ascended into Heaven.

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The author touching the Ascension stone bearing Christ’s footprints

When Constantine lifted the ban on Christianity in the early fourth century through his Edict that Milan, Christians started openly practicing your faith. Toward the late 4th century, the solemn event of the Ascension had been relocated to the nearby hillock, whereby the edicule is now. It came to be known as the “Imbomon” or “hillock.”

Meanwhile the cave had been incorporated into the Church that Eleona (so named since of the olive groves), developed by Constantine. The Church of the Pater Noster was developed in the so late 19th century ~ above the damages of the byzantine church the Eleona. Legend additionally has it that Helena, the emperor’s mother, made a holy Land trip in the early 4th century, and identified the two spots and also upon return to Rome ordered the construction of two temples on these sites.

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Part of the confusion is the the brand-new Testament shows up to give contrasting accounts of Christ’s Ascension. In Luke (24:50-51), it is said that Christ “took them (the Apostles) out as much as the outskirts of Bethany, and also lifting increase his hand he blessed lock . . . And he withdrew from them and was lugged up to Heaven.” In the acts of the Apostles, likewise ascribed come the writer of the Gospel that Luke, that is shown that the Ascension took ar in the mount of Olives (1:12): “So indigenous the mount of Olives, together it is called, they (the Apostles) went ago to Jerusalem a brief distance away.”

In her account of her expedition to the holy Land in the 380’s, the earliest record of that is kind, the nun Egeria appears to have referred to the transition of the Ascension spot from the cave at Eleona to the Imbomon. Explicate Pentecost or the 50th job after Easter, she composed of the at an early stage Christians:

“(I)mmediately after ~ breakfast, they ascend come the mountain of Olives, the is, come Eleona . . . (At the) Eleona they first enter the Imbomon, that is, the location where the mr ascended into heaven, and the bishops and also priests take their seat there, and likewise all the people. Great are review there and hymns interspersed, antiphons, too, are stated . . . The i from the Gospel is likewise read where it speak of the Lord’s Ascension, also that from the action of the apostles which speak of the Lord’s Ascension into heaven after His Resurrection. And also when this is over . . . They come down thence, it already being the nine hour, and also go with hymns to the church which is in Eleona, wherein is the cave where the lord was wont to sit and also teach His apostle . . . ”

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Pater Noster in Tagalog

Egeria’s account is really striking. Take note that both sites were accorded homage. In the observance the Pentecost, too, the 2 accounts that the Ascension in Luke and the action of the Apostle were review one ~ the various other without confusion.

Perhaps just as striking, too, in Egeria’s stare is that the Ascension or the 40th day after Easter was commemorated not in Jerusalem or the mountain of Olives however in Bethlehem, in one more cave—“the church inside is the cave where the lord was born.”

Do all of these sites enhance one one more in memorializing Christ’s Ascension?

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Church of the Pater Noster

Most probably. Bethlehem memorializes the Incarnation, the God-made-man. And in the mount of Olives, wherein Christ taught the apostle the our Father, he asserted the universal divine birthright of everyone. It was a birthright an ext than manifested when that ascended earlier to the father on Ascension Day. INQ