The church of St. Mari-Marouta

The church of St. Mari-Marouta

During the renovations of the monks’ cells located below the northern fence, the foundations of an ancient church were discovered, in front of the El-Sourian church. This ancient church is the church of St. Mari-Marouta. The discovery was made to the south of the baptistery that is present at the end of the chancel of the Maghara church. St. Mari-Marouta’s church dates back to the eighth century, and from the inside it spans an area of, 6 m in length and 3.85 m in width. It extends from the eastern side of the monastery (where the monastery’s current office is located), all the way to the Maghara church’s western wall.

          A wooden iconostasis was constructed as a partition between the altar and the church’s nave. The church’s external walls are adorned with mosaic icons. On the church’s western wall there is a very unique mosaic icon that depicts St. Miriam giving St. John Kame the Priest, three dinars. On the church’s eastern wall there is a picture that depicts St. Mari Ephraim the Syrian. The church’s main door is located on the church’s western wall. The outside of the door is adorned with a mosaic picture of St. Mari-Marouta El- Souriany. St. Mari-Marouta’s church is located southwest of the Maghara church. The Maghara church also has a second entrance in its chancel, leading to St. Mari- Marouta’s church.

His Grace Bishop Metaous prayed the first Holy Liturgy on the church’s altar on the day of 10/10/2017.

The Immersion Basin

The immersion basin is 80 cm deep, 2.1 m wide, and 2.1 m long. It used to be filled with water, and the Holy Lakan prayers were recited upon it during the feast of the Epiphany. The Christians who lived during this time period used to step into this basin to take the blessings of the holy water, as a symbol of when our Lord Jesus Christ stepped into the Jordan River. This basin is considered an ‘immersion basin’, and not an official baptistery.