Friday, August 15, 2008

Dormition Abbey.

In honor of today's feast, I thought I would post a few photos of one of my favorite places in Jerusalem: Dormition Abbey. Founded in the early years of the twentieth century by Benedictine monks from Germany, Dormition Abbey sits atop Mount Zion just outside Jerusalem's Old City. The monks of Dormition Abbey have adapted their vocation of ora et labora to the realities of life in one of the world's most contested cities, praying daily for peace in the world and working to foster reconciliation among the various communities present in the Holy Land. I made several visits to Dormition Abbey during my recent retreat in Jerusalem, once attending Mass with the monks and stopping in at other times to pray in the crypt of the monastery church (seen in the bottom two photos).

Dormition Abbey remained very much in my consciousness even on days when I didn't set visit the place, as I could see the monastery from my room at the Pontifical Biblical Institute - the top two photos in this set offer views of Dormition Abbey from the grounds of the PBI. Though I'm somewhat disappointed with the fuzzy image I captured of the monastery's upper church (fifth photo), I like the soft glow of the light in the photo of the church's statue of St. Benedict (sixth photo) as well as the pictures I took in the crypt (seventh and eighth photos). Taken as a whole, I hope that this set gives readers a vivid sense of a holy place which has meant a great deal to me. On this solemn day, I'll be praying in a special way for the monks of Dormition Abbey and for their intentions. AMDG.


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