SAINT

GEORGE

MONASTERY

Saint George Monastery in Wadi Qelt, or officially Monastery of Saints George and John Jacob of Choziba is a monastery located in Wadi Qelt, in the eastern West Bank, in Area C of the Palestinian Authority territories. Its Arabic name is Mar Jaris. The cliff-hanging complex, first established around AD 500, with its ancient chapel and gardens, is active and inhabited by Greek Orthodox monks. It is reached by a pedestrian bridge across Wadi Qelt, which many believe to be Psalm 23's "valley of the shadow of death". The valley parallels the old Roman road to Jericho, the backdrop for the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37). The monastery is open to pilgrims and visitors.
Established during the Byzantine period, it was destroyed by the Persians in AD 614, rebuilt in the 12th century during the Crusader period, abandoned after their defeat, and rebuilt again by Greek monks starting at the end of the 19th century. The site is associated with the lives of Elijah and that of the parents of the Virgin Mary, and holds the relics of three Eastern Orthodox saints, making it a site of intense pilgrimage.
The traditions attached to the monastery include a visit by Elijah en route to the Sinai Peninsula, and St. Joachim, whose wife Anne was infertile, weeping here when an angel announced to him the news of Mary's conception.
Relics of the three saints closely associated with Choziba - John of Thebes, George the Chozevite and John the Romanian - are kept in the monastery's main church.
The bones and skulls of the martyred monks killed by the Persians in 614 are kept today in a chapel outside the monastery walls.

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