jerusalem pilgrimage

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Jerusalem/The Holy Land4th Century Pilgrimage


Holy City and Holy SitesJerusalem a Holy CityMany Holy Sites that draw visitors to the areaDifferent views/opinions of the City and the Sites importance, in the past and in the presentThere have been additions, changes, wars, politicsRomanesque Architecture

When I was assigned Jerusalem, the Holy Land as a Pilgrimage site, I felt a little overwhelmed to present this area in 10 minutes.

As I read some sources I found there were many directions I could take: - Jerusalem has been named a Holy City, but it was not always seen this fact, this is the 4th rebuilding. - There are so very many sites in Jerusalem and the surrounding land - There have been conflicts over naming Jerusalem Holy and deciding the importance of different sites -How should Christians view places associated with the life of Jesus? - What constitutes a Christian attitude to the city of Jerusalem? - The sites have changed over the years due to wars, politics, different people in authority who have made changes. - And, the architecture and layout of different churches and other sites is itself a topic.2

2 Main Focus Points

How and when did Jerusalem become a pilgrimage site?Why did people take pilgrimages here?

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Ill touch on some of these things, but I narrowed this presentation to two main focus points.

At the end if there is time Ill give a list of some of the major Holy Sites.


Why did people make pilgrimages to Jerusalem during this time period?Visit monks and hermitsGet away from the occasion of sin.Can be a form of penance.It is often a sacrifice to travel the distance and to afford the trip.The hope is to receive a release from sin and be prepared for the after life. Pilgrimage sites are thought to be where a miracle did, still is, or will happen.A persons faith is strengthened from exposure to the Holy Site. Miracles are a reward for the journey.Relics of saints and centers of cults help spiritual and historical power.

Visiting sites allowed pilgrims to re-live the life and suffering of a saint/ Jesus. 4

A Holy Obligation?

Pilgrimages are not commanded in Scripture.St Jerome and St Gregory Gods grace is not more present to people at pilgrim sites than other areas.Christ is not confined.

Cannot be seen as a Holy Obligation, yet people are still drawn to these Holy sites.5

Before Jerusalem become a Pilgrimage Site?

Jerusalem renamed Aelia CapitolinaJerusalem was a former city of Jews & pagansA city that had rejected Jesus

Earlier than 4th Century accounts speak of visitors for prayer.

135 Hadrian renamed Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina, after the Jewish revolt Jerusalem no longer existed. - he had a temple to Venus built over Christs tombJews were exiled from the area he dictated that all circumcised persons were forbidden - therefore, this also affected many Christian JewsSo, at this time, Caesarea was the center of Christianity.


How and When did Jerusalem become a Pilgrimage Site?After the Council of Nicea in 325.Palestine came under Christian rule.Finally, Jerusalem and places of the life of Christ were in hands of Christians.Initiated by Constantine in 326To make clear that he is the Emperor in the East.In favor of ChristianityPut up his own buildings, especially in Constantinople the new Rome.The temple of Venus was destroyed and a basilica was built to mark the site of Christs Passion.

Constantine made plans to build beautiful sites and churches in the Eastern empire.

Eusebius became acquainted with Constantine at the Council. He was enthusiastic for bldg. up the Holy Land, especially around Palestine. - There are some mixed opinions of why Eusebius would want to do this. - He was the Bishop of the Province, which included Caeseria, currently the center of Christianity. Center would move to Jerusalem. - He was also expecting to be excommunicated for his Arian beliefs. - He was also a learned historian and could help establish Christian attitude toward this historic city.7

Jerusalem as a Holy City

Jerusalem as a holy city was the symbolic focus of a Christian empire. Symbolic of a Victory for Christ and for Christianity.Christians were eager to see God in this world with them.An opportunity to retrace Jesus footsteps.

By the end of the 4th Century the Church accepted that Gospel sites were to be holy places and that Jerusalem was a holy city.

Victory over a city that rejected Jesus and of a city formally of Jews and pagans now defeated.

Christians were looking to affirm their identity and their place in the world. To see God in this world with them.So the moment was right to increase veneration for holy sites, relics, things to mediate God to the believer.

Jerusalem was distant & a difficult trek for many making it an ideal prospect for grace.Also believed to be the center of the world, a sacred hub and center of Christian history; the death and resurrection.

In fact there was confusion among believers if Jerusalem on earth was in fact the heavenly city. This belief led some to hold to a promise of heaven if they made the pilgrimage. 8

EgeriaA nun from SpainFirst vivid account of pilgrimage late 4thc.Gives account of prayer and thankfulness. Visited 3 main types of placesCaves/houses of saints connected to the Old Testament and a few from New Testament.Martyra tomb of martyrs. Places of Christs ministry.

Her pilgrim likely took place between 381-384.Thankful that God permits her to reach each holy destination provides vivid picture for other nuns.Contrast Eusebius interested in beautiful monument as a tribute and support of faith.

Most places for pilgrimages chosen for easy travel Roman roads provided a way to travel to many sites. Many chapels built in other areas, so that people could make shorter pilgrimages. Never an exact replica. 9

Holy Sepulchre

The Holy Sepulchre Church commemorates the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

The Church was built to be a pilgrimage site.

All Christians acknowledge a common origin.

1st object of Christian attention in 325 and still is today.

Each denomination has its own segment some consider this a disunity - but all come from one origin. 10

Christs Resurrection

as at once similar to His return to life entering the light after being in darkness. EusebiusThe Site is a clear testimony to the Resurrection.

Constantine ordered a purification of the site of VenusEusebius described the site.


Saviors Victory over Death

A monument to the Saviors Victory over Death.

The Sacred Cave was adorned, rare columns were erected.Then the church was built.12

Holy Sepulchre Church


Places in the Holy Sepulchre ChurchThe Choir of the CanonsDifferent choirs sing hereThere is a high altar and a smaller altar marked with an insignia showing the spot Jesus was lain to be cleansed after he was taken down from the cross. The Holy FireAwaited from heaven on Easter Eve.ChapelsSt. Mary Armenians* The Lords PrisonHoly Cross Syrians* Altar of St. NicholasHoly Cross Christians * Door Leading to CloistersChapel of St. Helena and grotto in which Cross was found, 326 a.d..Chapel of the Flagellation includes part of column where Jesus was tied.

These places are listed by Theoderich gives specific descriptions of his Holy Land journey has been a major source for medieval knowledge for the region including the art and architecture of the kingdom.

A German monk written around 117214

Places in the Church of the Holy SepulcherChapel of John the Baptist Tombs of Kings of JerusalemChapel of CrucifixionAltar of Our Lady of SorrowsHoly SepulcherCatholicon Center of World

Lady of Sorrows spot where Jesus laid in his Mothers armsHoly Sepulcher in the Rotunda, looking up see opening of dome with sunlight signifying resurrection inner chamber inside is tomb where Jesus buried and resurrectedCatholicon considered Center of the World. Large Masses said here. 15

Stone of the Anointing Mount Calvary/Chapel of Golgotha

.Stone of Anointing one of holiest sites in church, where Jesus body laid and prepared for burial.A hole where it is known that the cross was standing.Rock of Golgatha can be seen16

Other Sites in Jerusalem and area.

Jewish TempleDome of the RockGarden of GethsemaneMount ZionPeters PrisonChurch of Nativity

Heart of Jerusalem FaithThird Holiest Site in Islam- shrine built over Foundation Stone where Muhammed ascended into heavens.Site of Jesus agony and captureLast supper room, where Christ washed the apostles feetBirthplace of Christ


Sources usedEgerias Travels to the Holy Land. Edited and translated by John Wilkinson. London: S.P.C.K., 1971. [BQ6174.A43 W5 1971]Theoderich. Guide to the Holy Land. Translated by Aubrey Stewart. New York: Italica Press, 1986. [DS105 .T4713 1986]Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage. Edited by Larissa J. Taylor, et. al. Leiden: Brill, 2010. [selections posted to Moodle]Walker, P. W. L. Walker. Holy City, Holy Places? Christian Attitudes to Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the Fourth Century. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. [BT93.5 .W35 1990]Webb, Diana. Medieval European Pilgrimage, c. 700 c. 1500. New York: Palgrave, 2002. [BX2320.5.E85 W43 2002], accessed July 18, 2016.