Pater Noster Church and praying cave on Mount Olives
The Pater Noster church was traditionally built over a cave to which Jesus brought his disciples .There, he taught them the secrets of the end of the days and the prayer of “our Father in heaven” which called The Pater Noster prayer.
(Luke 11 : 1-4): “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord”, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” By teaching his disciples to speak to God as if he is their father, it makes the pray be much more intimate and simpler. This is a universal and most important prayer for any Christian, because it came directly from the mouth of Jesus.
The site belongs to the Catholic nuns of the Carmelite monastery (like the Stella Maris church in Haifa). Inside the courtyard there is a natural underground cave which was the study cave - this is the holiest part of the site. According to tradition, Jesus and his disciples came to this grotto a number of times and Jesus taught them there.
The first structure was built in the fourth century by Helena (The mother of the Caesar Constantinou’s who did Christianity the formal religion.
Helena was also involved in establishing four churches in Israel. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Church of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives To heaven. The first site commemorating the ascension to heaven was here and not at the nearby place of the Ascension Mosque that was later built and linked to other traditions.
The church built by Helena was called the church of Eleona ("of the Olive trees" in Greek). The same church commemorated other events along with the ascension to heaven, particularly the teaching of Jesus and his disciples.
A Tale with a princess
The Persian Empire ruined the church at Elona in 614.
In the 12th century, a Crusader church was built, of which little is known (there were no significant remains of the Crusader period). It was probably a humble church that focused on a grotto. The principal contribution of the crusaders to the site is in its name and in the present tradition with the prayer of the Lord.
The crusader church was destroyed at Saladin Adin, and all its stones were stolen.
In the 19th century, the region was acquired by a French aristocrat and princess named Orly de Bossi. She brought the Carmelites here and built a monastery for them. We have French-speaking nuns here. Since then, the site belongs to France.
Orly had a condition for the Carmelites - she asked to be buried in it after her death. Her request was fulfilled and in the interior part of the site there is a sarcophagus where Orly de Bossi is buried, and above there is a statue of her.
The church is not conventionally open and unfinished. Nevertheless, its size is immense and the corridors with the vaults are spectacular. The climax of the site is the cloister where the disciples received the prayer of Jesus and the tablets with the words of prayer in different languages on the walls. The size of the church was 18 meters by 30 meters and before the entrance there was an atrium designed for people who had not yet converted to Christianity and it is also this huge size 18 meters by 30 meters.
The church we see was built in 1920 and is called the Church of the Holy Heart, but its work has ceased until today.
Church :name Pater Noster church / Aleone
Address: E-Hicke Street on Mountain Olives.
Christianity order: Catholic Carmelites.
Year constructed: 1874.
|Bus lines||Bus number 255 from central bus station.|
|Car||Park in front of the Seven Arches Hotel and head north to Rabaa al adways street. Then turn right to E-Sheikh street and you will find the church on your right side.|
|Taxi||Tell the driver to take you to “Pater Noster church” כנסיית פאטר נוסטר בהר הזיתים.|
Accessibility: You can access the church in a wheelchair.
Opening times :Closed on Sundays. Mon-Sat 08:00-12:00 and open again 14:00-17:00.
The cost of entering the site.10 Nis per person.
Telephone number 972-(0)2-6264904.
Toilet is available.
Nearby site activities
Located on top pf mount olive, this is a great site to start your Jerusalem touring day. You can walk to the view point and see the old city of Jerusalem Infront of you. Follow Jesus steps and walk down on mountain olives. Then visit Gethsemane church and walk to the old city to walk trough the via dolorosa stations.
Although the church has no roof, I think the architecture there is very unique and it is a great occasion for the pilgrim to experience the Pater Noster prayer. Look around you and find out which country the visitors are coming from according to the tablet of the language they choose.