Church of the Virgin

Church of the Virgin, overlooking Bethlehem, is located in the center of Beit Jala and, with a capacity of up to 1.000 people, is one of the biggest churches in the area. 

The Church was named after the Virgin Mary (peace is upon her). 

The feast of the Virgin Mary falls on September 28 each year. From the roof of the church it is possible to see the Judean desert in the east.

Shrine- Painted Icons:

The Church, constructed in 1862 during the time of Patriarch Kios II, takes the form of a cross in the Byzantine style.

The stones used in the construction are igneous ( ka’kuli ) , and the walls are one meter thick . It has three doors decorated with handmade carvings in a very distinctive architectural style. The belfry is 31 meters high, and carries large bells brought from czarist Russia in the nineteenth century. The church is surrounded by a large courtyard and includes a beautiful garden and a well. On the church ground there is also a fellowship hall used for religious and social events.

The walls inside the church are decorated with murals dating back to the nineteenth century. The painter then was Mr. Nicola Yousef Al Harami from Jerusalem, and these works, depicting the Holy Synod, are considered masterpieces. The ornate wooden Iconostas is adorned with painting and icons of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the Holy Father of the Church. The font is carved from stone. An arch, also carved from stone, was brought from the church of Cadisma Tabalia .

The Christian festivals of Holy Week, (including Palm Sunday, the Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday), Christmas, and Pentecost, are all held in this very distinguished church.

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 August 2015 18:38

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Quote for today

A man can never learn what divine power is while he abides in comfort and spacious living. St. Isaac the Syrian,  Homily 72

Orthodox Church in Beit Jala

It is held by many Beit Jalans that there has been a continual Christian presence in the city since almost the birth of the Christian faith. The large columns of the Church the Nativity in Bethlehem are said to have been carved from the hills of Beit Jala while Saint Nicholas of Myra, a beloved 4th century saint in both Eastern and Western Christianity whose pious deeds and miracles gave rise to the modern legend of Santa Claus.

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