This is the thirteenth in a 15-part series of pics from Syria.
Though a blurry shot: A view of an ancient Salon. Notice the table and “doorway” behind the man? That’s not a door … it where the man speaking would deliver his talk and the “gully” to his right, which circled the Salon, would carry the sound as well as any electronic mic & speaker system.
At the Convent of Saidnaya, in the Salon, with Mother Christina.
The icon which played a major role in my story, The Blindside.
There are quite a few steps that lead up the hill to the shrine … What’s housed in the shrine? An “icon of the All-holy Virgin, believed to be one of four icons extant that were painted by St. Luke the Evangelist himself.” Source
No pics were allowed.
Next … on to the resting place of St Thekla in Ma’lula.
“You’ll be surprise to see the mountain in Maaloula [araimic speaking town], Syria which was split [you could even see the fresh color compare to the outward color of the mtn], thereby a gorge with running water even today, causes one to cross the mountain. The story runs like: Thecla, a very beautiful rich girl was engaged to be married. She happen to hear St Paul preaching and decided to be his disciple, much to the anger of her mother and fiance. The two wants to kill her, so she escape and met some dangers but save thru her prayers. She reached the rugged, unpassable mountain in Maulola and no way for her to escape. She prayed for water and safety, her deliverance came, the mountain split and water gussed out, thus she escape safely. You could see the split clearly today.”
A view, descending the shrine.
Our visit to Saidnaya included a wonderful feasting meal for we three pilgrims. This was capped off by yet another visit to the Salon for sweets and coffee. During the repast, Michel wondered around the corner to an adjoining room and came back with a big smile on his face. Mother Christina said, “Ah … you saw our special room!”
She made me go look …
That night, back in Damascus, we were treated to a fabulous meal at Narange, thanks to a new friend, Issa. It was across the street from the Antiochian Patriarchate. The minaret pictured here is placed right beside the Patriarchate.
Next: On to Izzra to visit the 6th century Church of St George.