Today I went to the Holy Cross Monastery. It is a Greek Orthodox Church built over where they say the tree grew that was used for the Crucifixion of Christ. It's an interesting story. The Holy Tree, according to the tradition and the local paintings in the Monastery, was based on a triplet seeding (olive + cypress + cedar) that the Abraham gave to Lot. The reason Lot got the tree follows alond with this coming Sunday's Readings. After the destruction of Sodom & Gommorah, there was only Lot and his daughters around. They got Lot drunk and had relations with him to have children because all the men had died. When he sobered up he was very sorry for what he had done. He went to Abraham and asked for forgiveness. That's when he was given the three branches to be planted. If they grew, it would be a sign that he was forgiven of his sin. So, Lot planted the trees together at this site and watered it with waters he fetched from the Jordan river. The trees grew together and became one. The tree was later used to create the Holy Cross on which Jesus was crucified. A room inside the Monastery marks the site of the tree. To keep with this theme, I went to the Botanical Garden which was close by. The first picture is with Lot and the tree. The second is the site where they say the tree grew. If you click on the picture you can see the engravings of the trees and other events.
I'm going to Mt. Sinai and St. Catherine's Monastery tomorrow. They are in Egypt. So I will be away from internet access for awhile. I'll resume my Blog when I get back later this week.
I am a Catholic Priest. Usually I am a Pastor of a Parish, but now I am on Sabbatical in the Holy Land. I would like to share with you my journey. I hope it inspires you to become closer to Christ. This is a great adventure for me, so check back & see what I have done each day.