Today was a day of just wandering around the Old City. Went into the Christian Quarter. Went by the Latin Patriarch or Bishop's Headquarters. Then went to a new Church for me, St. Savior. It is a very large Church. All the services there are in Italian or Latin. They also have a School and around the Corner there is a DeSalles High School. Walked down St. Francis Road and surprisingly came into the back of the Holy Sepulcher. Walked into the Moslem Quarter and came upon the Dome of the Rock. Non Muslims cannot go into that area since the Intifada (when Arabs declared a holy war on Israel in 2002). Ariel Sharon walked right into the Dome one day and that really made them mad. On certain days & times you can walk around the Shrine but you cannot go in anymore. This is the place where Abraham took Isaac to sacrifice him to the Lord. Also this is where Mohammed ascended into Heaven. So it is a holy place for Moslems, Jews and Christians. The Jews won't go there because that was also the Temple site. And since they don't know exactly where the Holy of Holies was, they won't step onto the site for fear of walking the place where only on person a year could go into. It's all very territorial. But then I was able to go the Cathredral of St. James. It is only open from 3:00 - 3:30 PM. That's when the Seminarians have their prayer. That's strange because all these tourists come in during that time. It is an Armenian Church. The Armenians have been persecuted almost all of their existence. It is very ornate. This supposedly is the burial place of St. James the Greater and the burial place of the head of St. James the Lesser, the Apostles. The first Church built on this spot was in the 300's. The pictures are of a stone marker in the wall next to the schools in the Christian Quarter. Issa is arabic for Jesus. Maybe we need that motto in Indiana. Notice the hoop attached on one side and the engraved basketball in the other corner. And it looks old. The next is the burial place of St. John the Lesser.
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.