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Church of the Assumption (Mary`s Tomb)

Church of the Assumption (Mary`s Tomb)

After crossing the Brook of Kidron, the first monument we see on the left at the foot of the Mount of Olives is the Church of the Assumption erected upon the tomb that received the mortal remains of the Blessed Virgin.

The first church, a countryside chapel, was built some time about the beginning of the fifth century and consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem Juvenal (422-458) just after the Council of Calcedon (431). Thereafter a new Church was built over the tomb of Mary which thus became the crypt in which was venerated the Tomb of the Virgin.

The upper church was completely destroyed before the arrival of the Crusaders. When the Crusaders arrived they found only a little edicule over the Tomb.

Godfrey de Bouillon built a monastery here, the well known Abbey of St. Mary of the Valley of Jehoshaphat for the Benedictines of Cluny, to whose care he entrusted the Church. The Crusaders rebuilt the Church about the year 1130. This upper church was again destroyed together with the monastery by Saladin after 1187.

The actual tomb was the inner chamber of the whole complex. These archaeological findings, corroborated by literary documents (Palestinian, Syrian, Ethiopian and Greek) of the II-IV centuries together with the constant liturgical devotion are witness to the belief about the tomb of Mary next to Gethsemani since the beginning of the Christian era. It is from these far away origins that comes the celebration of the feast of the Assumption on August 15 since the infant Church, at this tomb, solemnly celebrated the feast of the Assumption of Mary.

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Address: Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
In preparing the page were used material from the site

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