Come and See
This book is designed as a guide for both Armenian and non-Armenian pilgrims at the cross-roads of the 2000-year history of Armenian Jerusalem. It is here that you will have a chance to see at first hand the working Armenian churches and monasteries, as well as imagining the ones which were built in the past only to be subsequently destroyed. At one point, there were as many as 74 Armenian churches and monasteries here. You will be able to marvel at the tenacity of the Armenian faith, visit the holy sites, which still retain the imprints of Christ's presence and learn about the people, who, throughout the millennia, have carried before them the invincible faith in the truth of the teachings of our Lord.
In the City of Jerusalem, in front of the Holy Sepulchre of our Lord Jesus Christ, there is a stone, symbolising the centre of the world. This city has indeed become the core, the very epicentre of human faith and history. Jerusalem gives you the opportunity of meeting with different nationalities, races and religions, languages and cultures, familiar and unfamiliar traditions and histories.
Today Jerusalem offers a home to Armenians and Arabs, Jews and Russians, Europeans and Africans, Indians and Koreans, all of whom exist here side by side, in the same symbolic way as do the city's ancient walls and contemporary buildings. Here you can just as easily see a nomadic Bedouin in his simple patriarchal dress, riding on his camel, as meet a pilgrim from any corner of the world or a rich American tourist.
This is the world's cross-roads, where East and West meet and it presents the visitor with the opportunity to find out about the history of different peoples, their past and present. Yet, in the polyphony of different cultures, languages and traditions, on the most beautiful mount in Jerusalem — Mount Zion — you can hear one more unique language and one more special culture, both of which bear the face of the Armenian people. This is reflected in the Armenian oil lamp which hangs over the Holy Sepulchre, as a symbol of the odyssey of the Armenian people, as a witness to the unshakeable Apostolic foundation of the Armenian Church and a symbol of the unquenchable faith of Gregory the Illuminator.
The Armenian people and the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church which mirrors its soul have significant landmarks in their long history.
Now, as we are celebrating the 2000th anniversary of the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and the 1700th anniversary of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity, it is with grateful joy that the Armenian people can emphasise that their forefathers accepted Christianity as their state religion back in 301 A.D. and that in 303 A.D., they built Holy Etchmiadzin on the site where Christ Himself descended.
In the course of all their history, Armenians have remained true to their faith and to the teachings of Jesus Christ. They have built churches, monasteries and khatchkars. In 405 A.D., in his work of genius, the great Mesrob Mashtots set out the Armenian alphabet, which brought literacy to the people and creativity to the genius that produced thousands of beautiful manuscripts. As further evidence of their constancy, the Armenian people laid one and a half million victims on the altar of Christian faith, during the Genocide in 1915.
Today, the Armenian people have once again created an independent state on one tenth of their historical homeland.
There is one more touching story, which runs concurrently with the history of the Armenian people and that is the story of Armenian Jerusalem. This is the parallel story of the priceless spiritual and cultural inheritance of the Armenian people, which has been handed down from generation to generation; the story of their way of the cross, their hope in the resurrection and their unshakeable faith.
Come and see!
Come and visit the Holy Land!
Come and visit Armenian Jerusalem!
Archbishop Torkom Manoogian
Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem
The book shows the existing Armenian churches and monasteries in the Holy Land, as well as telling the history of former Armenian churches and monasteries, which once numbered as many as 74. It tells of the history of the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem, indicating the holy sites, where Christ left his mark and tells of the Armenian people who have borne their unshakeable faith in the truth of the teachings of Jesus Christ over the millennia.
This book is a dependable guide for any pilgrim, planning to take the long journey to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth and other cities and villages in the Holy Land, which were blessed with the earthly presence of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and the Apostles. This book enables the traveller to learn the history of various holy sites and their related customs.
"Jerusalem – a pilgrimage to the Holy Land" consists of 14 chapters.
Chapter I. The Armenian quarter of the ancient city of Jerusalem: The Monastery of SS James, the Monastery of the Holy Archangels, the Church of St. Thoros - the place where many ancient manuscripts are stored.
Chapter II. The Armenian Monastery of the Saviour on Mount Zion.
Chapter III. The Via Dolorosa - the road in the Old City, along which Christ walked, carrying his cross from the Antonia Fortress to the place of his execution.
Chapter IV - Jerusalem. The Church of the Sepulchre.
Chapter V - The Western Wall of the Temple of Jerusalem
Chapter VI - The Temple of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Chapter VII - The Valley of Jehosophat - the place where St. James, the brother of our Lord, met his death.
Chapter VIII. The Church of the Blessed Virgin. The Garden of Gethsemane.
Chapter IX - The Mount of Ascension, The Chapel of the Ascension, the Pater Noster Church, the Russian Monastery of the Ascension, 4th Century Armenian mosaics on the site where the head of St. John the Baptist was found.
Chapter X - The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Chapter XI - The Jordan valley, the site where Jesus Christ was baptised, Jericho, the Quarantine Mount, the Monastery of St. George Hosephite, the Monastery of St. Saava, the Dead Sea, the Qumran caves.
Chapter XII - The Holy sites of Galilee - Nazareth, Capernaum, Tagbha, the Mount of the Beatitudes, Mount Tabor, Beth-Shea.
Chapter XIII - Joppa (Jaffa). The Armenian Church of St. Nicholas.
Chapter XIV - The Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem.