HISTORY OF THE HOLY MONASTERY OF SAINT GEORGE OF THE JEWISH QTR

GREEK ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM

 

The Holy Monastery of Saint George, in the southern district of the Old City of Jerusalem, is one of the ancient Monasteries of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

 

In the book “Jerusalem and Its Monuments” by the Archbishop of Jordan and Patriarchal Commissioner in Bethlehem, and then by the blessed Patriarch of Jerusalem Messrs Timotheus, publication 1932, we can read the following:

 

History of the Monastery of Saint George

 

Under Emperor Justinian, it is mentioned by Procopius in 491, that Saint John the Silentiary arrived in Jerusalem and abode at the nursing home of Saint George over a certain period. In 614 AD, during the fall of Jerusalem to the Persians, the monastery is mentioned as a hotel or church of St George the Martyr outside of the city.

 

The “Commemoratorium” states that two priests presided at this memorial. From a Greek inscription, we learn that the abbess of this female Monastery was Thekla Augusta, the sister of Emperor Michael III.

 

The “Kanonarion” mentions, “in the church of Saint George, outside the Tower of David”.

 

At the time of Crusaders, the Monastery of Saint George is shown to be amid vineyards and across the Acropolis.

 

In the letter of the Egyptian Sultan Nasreddin (1347 AD – 1351 AD) to the King Kantakouzenos, it is written: “The Emissary asked for all the ruins of the old Church of Saint George in the neighbor ship of the Romans, in order that we can divide and build, and we heard him, and we fulfilled his will”.

 

From the life of the Silentiary we can learn that it was built under the pious Empress Eudocia.

“He came to Jerusalem and abides in the nursing home of the Holy City, built under Eudocia, for the nursing home is dedicated to Saint George the Martyr.” (Archdeacon Kleopas, Lives of Palestinian Saints)

 

Other evidence for the Monastery can be found in the Jerusalem Kanonario of the 7th Century, translated and preserved in the Georgian language by the lost Greek Palestinian Typikon. In this Typikon, it is mentioned that on November 3rd , the church of Saint George is celebrated, which is commemorated along with the Holy Church and Saint Thalaleo. This Church is east of the Church of Saint James of the Armenians. The Monastery is up to this day, east of the Armenian Patriarchate with the Church of Saint James of Zebedee and west of the new church which was built by Justinian.

 

In the book of Archbishop Benjamin Ioannidou “Proskinitarion of the Holy Land”, 1877, we can read that there is a Monastery honored with the name of Saint George and called Jewish because it is located in the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

 

The monastery belongs to the pilgrims where they can rest and find shelter on their way from Gethsemane and the Pool of Siloam. The was Monastery ancient and great, however was destroyed by the Mohammedan and remained deserted for a certain period. Later the Patriarch of Jerusalem erected part of it and the Church. Extensive repairs were also made by Abbot Averkios the Serbian in 1857.

 

As seen from the infrared inscriptions on the walls of the Monastery, the Skeuophylax of the Holy Sepulchre, Archbishop Kyriakos, in the year 1948, had renovated the Monastery and the Church. He had erected around it guestrooms for the recreation of the monks of the Church of the Resurrection.

 

A great renovation project has begun recently in the Holy Monastery under blessed Patriarch of Jerusalem Theofilos III and with the donations of pious Christians. First, the Abbey was fully renovated along with the utility rooms, and a small guesthouse was created. This was made possible with a donation of 56 000€ made by a pious couple from Athens.

 

In 2011, more renovations begun with the maintenance of the Church of the Monastery of Saint George the Trophy-Bearer, again with a donation made by pious Christians from Cyprus and Greece.

 

The entire masonry has been cleaned and maintained inside and out, the roof has new insulation, the bell tower has been cleaned and maintained, the Church has new electrical wiring, the old and worn flooring has been removed and replaced by new white marble. After first being completely reconstructed from within; the windows and doors were changed, the interior of the roof has been cleaned and restored, since due to rain it was destroyed, and the outside area has been cleaned and reconstructed because it was destroyed and caused damage to the Church.

 

Murals have already been completed with Our Lady of the Sign, Absolute Humiliation and Saint Anne, and the rest are being prepared for the entire roof of the Church; Birth, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Christ Pantocrator, four scenses from the Martyrdom of Saint George, The Last Supper, The Prophets From Above (8 persons), Prophet Enoch, Prophet Elias, Saint John the Merciful and Saint Spyridon.

 

Then, the temple and icons need to be cleaned, maintained and restored, along with the other icons; Agios Fanourios, Archdeacon Stephen, Saint George, Archangel Michael, Saint Nicholas, Saint John Chrysostom, Christ Pantocrator, The Virgin and Child, The Nativity of Christ, Baptism, Resurrection, (9) small icons, and gold-embroidered Epitaphios. As well as the cathedra, icon cases, and other objects of the Church (total cost 76 000€), gold-embroidered altar cover and other covers, purchase of pews, building of cabinets, benches and seats for the Sanctuary etc.

 

All pious Christians who wish to contribute to the renovation of the Holy Church and forever be commemorated as founders of the Church of Saint George the Great Martyr, can contact the Abbess of the Monastery, Nun Anna, for more information at: +972 542 581 575 (Israel) and +35 797 667 509 (Cyprus). Email: monaxi.anna@gmail.com

 

We wish that the Grace of the Lord always support and sanctify you through the supplications of Saint George.