23 November 2011

Thousands in line to view 'Mother of God's Belt'


Thousands in line to view 'Mother of God's Belt'.
Daily American News
Posted Nov 20, 2011 @ 07:32 AM

MOSCOW — Thousands of Muscovites are lining up to worship one of the most
revered Orthodox Christian relics - The Mother of God's Belt – as it goes on
display at the Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

­The Orthodox Church believes in a legend that Mary, the Mother of Jesus,
wore a belt woven from camel wool, and, after her death and Assumption, it
came into the hands of the Apostle St Thomas.

The Christian relic, which came to Russia from Greece, is believed to have
divine powers to cure infertility and disease.

 In the first centuries of the Christian era, the Belt was held in

By the end of the 4th century, the relic was taken to Constantinople (now

It had been repeatedly cut into parts throughout history. And only three
pieces remain.

One of them is kept in Georgia, the two others are in Prato, Italy, and at
Vatoped Monastery on Mount Athos in Greece. The latter is believed by
Orthodox Christians to be under protection of the God`s Mother.

The Belt has never been taken from Athos before, with an exception only made
for the month-long Russian tour across 14 cities this year.

The relic will be on display for more than a week.


01 November 2011

Jerusalem dig unearths Christian icon


Jerusalem dig unearths Christian icon

From: AP
November 01, 2011 12:00AM

A TINY, exquisitely made box found on an excavated street in Jerusalem
is a token of Christian faith from 1400 years ago, Israeli archeologists

The box, carved from an animal bone, decorated with a cross on the lid
and measuring 2cm by 1.5cm, was probably carried by a Christian around
the end of the 6th century AD, according to Yana Tchekhanovets of the
Israel Antiquities Authority, one of the directors of the excavation
where the box was found.

When the lid is removed, the remains of two portraits are visible in
paint and gold leaf. A man and a woman, they are probably Christian
saints and possibly Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

The box was found outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City in the
remains of a Byzantine-era road. Uncovered two years ago, it was treated
by preservation experts and researched before it was unveiled at an
archeological conference last week. The box offers the first
archeological evidence that the use of icons in the Byzantine period was
not limited to church ceremonies.
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Part of a similar box was found in Jordan three decades ago, but this is
the only well-preserved whole example found so far. Similar icons are
carried today by some Christians, especially from the eastern Orthodox

The relic was found in the City of David excavation, named for the
biblical monarch thought to have ruled a Jewish kingdom from the site.

The politically sensitive dig is in the Palestinian area of Silwan, just
outside the Old City walls in east Jerusalem, the section of the city
captured by Israeli forces in 1967 and still claimed by Palestinians as
their capital.