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Saint Anne Church in Jerusalem |Church of The White Fathers

Following the Christian tradition, this is the place where the mother of Jesus Virgin Mary was born. Virgin Mary parents Anna and Joachim lived here and you could find here the exact birthplace of Mary. The church is located a few meters from the entrance through the Lions Gate in the old city of Jerusalem […]

Following the Christian tradition, this is the place where the mother of Jesus Virgin Mary was born. Virgin Mary parents Anna and Joachim lived here and you could find here the exact birthplace of Mary. The church is located a few meters from the entrance through the Lions Gate in the old city of Jerusalem and belong to a special Roman Catholic order called The White Fathers, due to the white color of their robes.

A place for healing

If you are planning to go through “Via Dolorosa” 14 station, you should visit this place as it's very closed to the first station.The church was built on the remains of a pagan temple delicate to the god of healing dating back to the 3rd century AD. Right next to a water pool known as Beit Hissada (the house of mercy).

Its name, along with the archaeological findings, indicate that it was a healing pool. The water pool is mentioned in a New Testament story of Jesus curing a sick man in John 5 (1-8 ):

“Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the sheep Gate poo, which in Aramaic is called “Bethesda” and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people use to like the blind, the lame and paralyzed. On who was there had been an invalid for thirty-Eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “do you want to get well?”. “Sir”, the invalid replied,” I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me”. Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk. At once the man was cured. He picked up his mat and walked”.

History of the church

The pool was split into two parts by a wall. In the Byzantine period a church was constructed on the wall between the two parts. Above there was built a church in the days of the Crusaders. The church we speak of is also from the Crusader period, but close to these. The church belonged to the Order of the Benedictine Nuns and after the Muslim conquest in 1187 was converted into a school (a Madras called Madrasa al-a-Tzalhiya) and an inscription can be seen in Arabic indicating this.

The teachers there were the best ones and were appointed by an Egyptian sultan. In the 19th century the place was abandoned and even parts of it were taken to build other buildings in the city and eventually began to turn the place into a mosque. In 1877, the sultan made a donation to the French government. From that time on, the place belonged to the Order of the Missionary Fathers of Africa.

The structure reminds a fortress in its mass, it has little ornaments. The inside of the church is conceived as a basilica with a hall and two citadels. Scenes from Mary's life can be viewed at the altar in the apse. At the end of the room are stairways that lead to the crypt that sanctifies Mary. This is a cave that has been attributed to the place of birth of Mary, the mother of Jesus, since the time of the Crusaders. In the area there is also a monastery of the white fathers and at the entrance to the church you can see the statue of the one who founded the monastery. He was known as Cardinal Luizari.

A very special characteristic of the church is the marvelous acoustics that are there. When you are here, ask permission from the pastor on site and you are invited to sing songs and enjoy the sounds that come to you.

Basic Information

Address: Lion Gate street

Christianity order :France Roman Catholic, belong to the Les Peres Blance, the“White Fathers”.

Year of build :1138

Arrival options

Bus linesBus no. 236.
CarNot accessible by car as the Muslim quarter and the old town in general is very narrow and full of local cars. Better to park Infront of Zion Gate or in Mamilla Parking lot and make a half/full day tour in the old city of Jerusalem.
TaxiTell the taxi driver to drop you at the “Lion Gate” שער האריות
WalkingIts only 10 minuets walking from The All Nation Church.

Arriving information

Accessibility :It's an accessible church.

Opening Hours: There are entrance fees.

Phone number + 972-(0)2-6283285

Toilet are available and suitable for wheelchairs.

Nearby site activities

Ancient attraction of the city which are the stations via dolorosa, Temple Mount, Western Wall, Market and Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

If you ever looked for Romanesque style building in Israel, you have just found one! Don't be shy and start singing a song there. How is your French?

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