This morning we left the hotel early for a day of seeing the sites around Jerusalem. We started following Christ’s passion as he returned to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. We followed his footsteps with all the events that happened to him starting on Thursday night of his passion and celebrated Mass at the Church of All Nations.
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge east of and adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City. It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes. The southern part of the mount was the Silwan necropolis, attributed to the elite of the ancient Kingdom of Judah. The western slopes of the mount, those facing Jerusalem, have been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and hold approximately 150,000 graves, making it central in the tradition of Jewish cemeteries.
Several key events in the life of Jesus, as related in the Gospels, took place on the Mount of Olives, and in the Acts of the Apostles, it is described as the place from which Jesus ascended to heaven. Because of its association with both Jesus and Mary, the Mount has been a site of Christian worship since ancient times and is today a major site of pilgrimage for Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants.
Much of the top of the hill is occupied by At-Tur, a former village that is now a neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
Garden of Gethsemane
Gethsemane is a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem where, according to the four Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus Christ underwent agony in the garden and was arrested before his crucifixion. It is a place of great resonance in Christianity. There are several small olive groves on church property, all adjacent to each other and identified with biblical Gethsemane.
Church of All Nations
The Church of All Nations, also known as the Church or Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic church located on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane. It enshrines a section of bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. (Mark 14:32–42)
Room of the Last Supper
The Cenacle, also known as the Upper Room, is a room in Mount Zion in Jerusalem, just outside the Old City walls, traditionally held to be the site of the Last Supper, the final meal that, in the Gospel accounts, Jesus held with the apostles.
According to the Christian Bible, the Cenacle was a place in which the apostles continued to gather after the Last Supper, and it was also the site where the Holy Spirit alighted upon the eleven apostles on Pentecost.
Tomb of David
David’s Tomb is a site that, according to an early-medieval (9th-century) tradition, is associated with the burial of the biblical King David. Historians, archaeologists and Jewish religious authorities do not consider the site to be the actual resting place of King David. It occupies the ground floor of a former church, whose upper floor holds the Cenacle or “Upper Room” traditionally identified as the place of Jesus’ Last Supper and the original meeting place of the early Christian community of Jerusalem.
St. Peter in Gallicantu
Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu is a Roman Catholic church located on the eastern slope of Mount Zion, just outside the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is dedicated to the episode from the New Testament known as the Denial of Peter.
The name has been given in commemoration of Peter’s triple denial of being associated with Jesus during the night of his arrest “… before the cock crows twice” (Mark 14:30), and has been introduced by the Crusaders.
This is believed to be the location of the palace of Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest who sat in judgment over Jesus, where Peter’s triple denial took place. According to the Pilgrim of Bordeaux in his Itinerarium Burdigalense, “…going up from the Pool of Siloe to Mount Zion one would come across the House of the Priest Caiaphas.”
On an even lower level, there is a succession of caves from the Second Temple period. Since tradition places the palace of Caiaphas on this site, many believe that Jesus may have been imprisoned in one of these underground crypts after his arrest
On the north side of the church is an ancient staircase that leads down towards the Kidron Valley. This may have been a passage from the upper city to the lower city during the First Temple period. Many Christians believe that Jesus followed this path down to Gethsemane on the night of his arrest.