Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday in the Holy Land

Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent are quickly approaching. The day is commonly commemorated by Catholics, Methodists, Anglicans and many other Christian communities around the world. 

It is most recognized by the ashes ceremonially put on the foreheads of the faithful. This goes back to ancient times, when ashes were a symbol used to express grief.

“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19

 

Local Christians pray on Ash Wednesday in the Holy Land.

In Jerusalem, Ash Wednesday is normally marked with pilgrims and local Christians coming together. Around the empty tomb of Christ in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, you can typically find all nationalities celebrating the beginning of Lent.

This year in 2021, Ash Wednesday and all the Holy days leading up to Easter will look different in the Holy Land. 

Only the local faithful will be here, walking along the Old City’s cobblestone streets. But just because pilgrimages are not visiting, does not mean that you can not make a Holy Land prayer request.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread’. Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’.” Matthew 4:1-4

 

The ashes are from palm fronds used on last year's Palm Sunday
The ashes are from palm fronds used on last year’s Palm Sunday.

We, The Salvation Garden, offer you the chance to send your urgent prayer requests for any reason. Allow us to pray for you! Send your Urgent Prayer Requests now.

Our dedicated team members will personally take your urgent prayer requests to a Church of your choice in the Holy Land and then offer them to our Lord. After we bring your prayer requests to your chosen Holy Church, we will send you videos or pictures to assure you.

Dormition Abbey

Send Prayer Request Online at the Dormition Abbey

Sign leading to the Church

This church and monastery are some of the many spiritual sites in Jerusalem. Christian prayers have been heard from this church, for hundreds of years. 

The sacred building is outside the walls of Jerusalem’s old city, next to Zion gate. Even if you are physically far from Jerusalem, you can still make a special prayer request from Dormition Abbey.

Both today and in the past, the church has been an icon of the Jerusalem skyline. Dormition Abbey was even featured on a mosaic of the Holy City made in the 6th century AD. 

The church was first built by the Bishop of Jerusalem, John II, in the 5th century AD. But the building we pray from today is not the same one. The church was destroyed and rebuilt, more than once. 

It is a story of hope. The ancient Christians of Jerusalem did not lose faith. Because of their conviction to God, we can still pray together in Dormition Abbey.

Today, the church in Jerusalem was commissioned by the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II. Ottoman rulers gave the Kaiser a plot of land on Mount Zion when he visited the Holy Land in 1898 AD. It took twelve years to build.

The name of the church has always remained the same, although sometimes translated into different languages. It was built near the site of Jesus’s last supper and where the Blessed Virgin Mary died. 

The name dormition means “falling asleep”. Until today, the church is honored with commemorating where Mary “fell asleep” and where her body and soul were taken to heaven.

Even if you are not in Jerusalem, you can make a Holy Land prayer request. Join our prayer team in online worship. We will hand-deliver your prayers to Dormition Abbey.

‘And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.’ Luke 1:38

The Church in Jerusalem today

How Can The Salvation Garden Help You?

The Salvation Garden believes that every believer in the world should be easily able to access the holy places of the Holy Land. We want to assist you in achieving success in your spiritual and material life.

Those who are unable to make it to these pilgrimage sites, we volunteer to carry your prayers to one of the holiest sites in these lands.

Click here to fill the online prayer request form with your personal prayer. Choose Dormition Abbey or multiple holy churches and holy places in the Holy Land.

We will visit those holy places and personally deliver your printed prayer request. You will get the delivery confirmation from us to your email and an optional video.

We also deliver your urgent prayer request to the Holy Land. While our service comes free, your donations help us with our travel, printing, security, and other expenses.

What is St. Patrick’s Day?

What is St. Patrick’s Day?

What is St. Patrick’s Day

Whether you love wearing green and believe that St. Patrick’s Day gives you the perfect opportunity to literally “go green”, or your keen ear for Irish music and taste for Irish food and drinks brings you out on the streets to celebrate, there is much more to the day than just great food and revelry. You maybe Irish at heart or join the colorful and grand parade every year, but have you ever wondered about its origins and the meaning of the symbols associated with this day? And what is the religious significance associated with this day? Let’s explore this uniquely Irish day of celebration.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th to commemorate the death anniversary of the revered patron saint of Ireland. From the early 13th century, St. Patrick’s Purgatory is commonly associated with spiritual healing and penance; the place is significant as it is here that St. Patrick had a vision assuring believers that whoever visited the sanctuary in faith and penitence would have their sins pardoned. Hence, the site draws scores of believers who pay homage to the patron, particularly on St. Patrick’s Day. But if planning a pilgrimage is not on your cards for personal reasons, a prayer request to the holy land  could go a long way in providing you with spiritual succor. A prayer request can bring inner peace by strengthening your belief and faith.

Who is St. Patrick?

St. Patrick was born in Banna Venta Berniae, a small town in Roman Britain, towards the end of the fourth century. Although his real name was Maewyn Succat, he chose to be called Patricius. There are many monikers associated with him, such as Moagonus, Succetus, and Cothirthiacus. During his lifetime, St. Patrick worked relentlessly in Ireland to spread Christianity throughout the region. He is believed to have baptized several thousands of people, guided women to nunhood, converted the princes in the region, ordained new priests, and helped in the formation and establishment of more than 300 churches. 

Although Patrick was never canonized by the Catholic Church as there was no formal canonization process in place during the first millennium, he was proclaimed a saint by popular acclaim due to his work as a priest and helping to spread Christianity all over Ireland. St. Patrick preached the Gospel for more than 40 years and many believe that he may be responsible for popularizing the Shamrock, the three-leafed clover plant signifying the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Symbols of St. Patrick’s Day

The Shamrock is the most common symbol associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Many people can be seen wearing green attire as the color has found favor over time. There are many religious symbols that have gained significance, including serpents, snakes and the Celtic Cross. St. Patrick added the Sun onto the Christian Cross as it was a powerful Irish symbol and created a Celtic Cross. There are also other symbols related to Ireland seen on St. Patrick’s Day, like the harp; it was used in Ireland for centuries. Symbols like the Leprechaun, a mythological creature, as well as a pot of gold that the leprechaun keeps hidden, are also associated with this day.   

Why March 17?

Although there has been much debate over when and where St. Patrick died, it is widely believed that he died in Saul at Downpatrick on March 17. Hence, the date has been marked to commemorate his death.

In the 17th century, St. Paddy’s Day was started as a religious celebration to mark the arrival of Christianity in Ireland as well as venerate the life of St. Patrick. This day was always celebrated on the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death, popularly believed to be March 17, 461 AD. As time passed and more Irish crossed the Atlantic, the Feast Day celebration gradually gained popularity. In the early 1600s, the Feast Day was officially recognized and placed on the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar due to the efforts of Irish Franciscan friar and historian Luke Wadding. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in a Spanish colony in Boston in 1737.

Why the color green?

If you ever wondered why green is the color of choice when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, you need to go back in time. The color associated with Feast Day and St. Patrick was blue until the Irish soldiers wore green when they fought against the British during the Irish Rebellion. In 1978, the song The Wearing of the Green, sung by the Irish soldiers during the war made green the new color associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Also the color of shamrocks, green emerged as Ireland’s mainstay color.

Celebrate Palm Sunday in the Holy Land

Celebrate Palm Sunday in the Holy Land

If you religiously attend mass on Palm Sunday and bring home the blessed palm branches and fronds, chances are that you do have a fair idea about one of the most significant dates in the Christian calendar. But if you ever thought about sending an online prayer request to the Holy Land to seek His divine blessings or your present circumstances do not allow you to take a break from your family commitments or work, read on to learn about the places where you can send an online prayer request to fulfill your heart’s desire and strengthen your communion with the Lord. If you wish to avoid the crowd but seek the Lord’s blessings, you can send an online prayer request to these religious sites of the utmost significance. You can be a part of the celebration of Palm Sunday without being a part of the long, winding queues.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The church situated in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem is also known as the Church of the Resurrection and the Church of the Anastasis. The church houses the last four holy sites where Christ was crucified at the Calvary or Golgotha; the sites are known as the Stations of the Cross and situated along the Via Dolorosa. The church was rediscovered in the 4th century by the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, St. Helena. She found Christ’s tomb and the True Cross. Two churches were constructed at the site; one was above the tomb while the other was built around the hill of Golgotha. In the 11th century and the early 1800s, major work was undertaken to rebuild the site. The cavernous structure contains elements of the medieval, Byzantine, and Crusader forms of architecture. Visitors can see the many shrines, altars, and outstanding pieces of artwork. One can visit the tombs dating back to the first century, the Prison of Christ, the Chapel of the Finding of the Cross, the Rock of Calvary, the Stone of the Unction, and the Chapel of Agony of the Virgin where Christ’s body was taken down from the Cross.

Garden Tomb

The Garden Tomb

This site situated near the Damascus Gate outside the walled city of Jerusalem holds the utmost significance as it is widely believed to be the place for Christ’s burial and Resurrection. Although speculation is rife about the precise date of the tomb’s discovery, popular view suggests that it was found in 1867. The place was identified as the site of Christ’s burial as it contained a burial site dating back to the first century. There is a craggy escarpment nearby resembling a skull; it is believed that Christ was crucified here. It is popularly known as the Hill of the Skull or Golgotha.

Church of All Nations

 

Church of All Nations

This church, also known as the Basilica of Agony, faces the walls of the Old City and stands atop the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. It is the site where Christ prayed the night before his Crucifixion. The church stands on the remnants of a basilica built in the 4th century and a Crusader chapel constructed in the 12th century. Twelve different nations contributed to the construction of the neo-classical church; hence it earned the name of the Church of All Nations. The astounding mosaic façade supported by Corinthian columns above the main entrance depicts Christ as a conduit between the Lord and mankind. The walls of the church are adorned with mosaics depicting Biblical scenes that had taken place at the Garden of Gethsemane. Beneath the altar is the Rock of Agony where Christ sat down and prayed; it is encircled by a crown of thorns made of wrought iron.

Abbey of the Dormition

The Abbey of the Dormition

The Dormition Abbey is located on Mount Zion outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem near the Zion Gate. In 1898, a piece of land was given to the German Kaiser Wilhelm II to commemorate his visit to Jerusalem by the Ottoman ruler. The German-Catholic Church is a magnificent neo-Romanesque structure that incorporates the architectural style of the ancient cathedrals of Europe; the red and white bricks are reminiscent of the Mameluke architecture. The abbey was dedicated in 1910. The site holds significance as it is the place where the Blessed Virgin Mary fell into an eternal slumber. Hence the term Dormition denoting sleep is associated with the place. The mosaics express the link between the world and divinity, the four evangelists and the Biblical prophets.

St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s Church

This Franciscan church is a distinctive building with its elegant brick façade and lofty bell tower in Old Jaffa. The 13th-century citadel bears elements of the New Spanish baroque architecture and its interiors depict various episodes of St. Peter’s life, including the transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor and the washing of his feet at the Last Supper. Although a majority of the churches face East, the St. Peter’s Church faces towards the sea in the West as it is where the saint had seen his first vision to spread the word of the Lord and evangelize the Gentiles. The carved pulpit resembles the shape of a tree.

We, The Salvation Garden, offer you the chance to send your urgent prayer requests for any reason. Allow us to pray for you! Send your Urgent Prayer Requests now.

Our dedicated team members will personally take your urgent prayer requests to a Church of your choice in the Holy Land and then offer them to our Lord. After we bring your prayer requests to your chosen Holy Church, we will send you videos or pictures to assure you.

 

I Prayed In A Holy Place And Won Salvation

I Prayed In A Holy Place And Won Salvation

The Stone of Anointing at the Holy Sepulchre

Time and again, we have turned to God seeking divine blessings in our times of need. I used to hear the experiences of friends and relatives of how they have been showered with His blessings or how those who did not believe in His power became devout followers after feeling His presence in their lives. Some family members who were old and indisposed due to financial issues narrated stories of their brush with the Supreme Being and how He had blessed them although they were physically unable to go on a pilgrimage; they cited how merciful God was in answering their prayers sent through a prayer request. A tech-savvy cousin even commented on how one can make use of an online prayer request nowadays and seek His blessings without having to take time off from work or plan a trip to holy sites. Although I listened to them in awe, I did not experience His grace being bestowed upon me till tragedy struck my mundane life.

A few years ago, my husband and I used to live on the outskirts of the city. This meant traveling long hours to reach our respective work destinations. My husband bought a motorbike to save time as well as cut down on the traveling expenses he had to incur every day while commuting to his office. Although it saved time and ensured a considerable amount of savings for us, there was always a niggling worry in the back of my mind about his safety, as the condition of a particular stretch of road near his office was potholed and full of craters. My worst fears came true when I received a telephone call from one of his colleagues on a rainy evening. He said that my husband had met with a terrible accident while navigating a pothole on that stretch of road and his motorbike had skidded. My husband was flung several feet away and found unconscious by passersby. Someone from the crowd found his identity card and informed the office. His colleagues rushed to the spot and took him to the nearest hospital.

In a single moment, my world turned upside down. I rushed to the hospital with a friend. Several X-rays revealed that he had multiple fractures on his left leg. Doctors said his condition was critical as he was diabetic. He was kept under observation and doctors monitored his condition round-the-clock. Although he needed surgery for his leg, doctors were naturally reluctant to go ahead with it until his blood glucose levels were stable.

As I broke down, one of my relatives consoled me and suggested that I consider sending an online prayer request to a holy site of my choice. I had never sent a prayer request before, but my heart told me to put my trust in the Almighty and hope for a miracle. As I was confused and puzzled, my friend helped me surf the Internet and look at various places where one can send an online prayer request. I zeroed in on one such holy site to seek His holy blessings. A prayer request could be sent for a nominal amount. As there was no traveling or preparations involved, my present circumstances made sending an online prayer request a God-sent solution to me at that point in time. I penned down my prayer on a piece of paper, took a photograph, and uploaded it on the website. After a few days, I received a confirmation via email as well as digital photos of my prayer being offered at the holy site.

A week after my husband’s accident, the doctors said that his blood glucose levels and other parameters had stabilized, and they could proceed with the surgery. I heaved a sigh of relief. Tears of joy flowed from my eyes. I was filled with gratitude and felt that the Lord had granted my prayers. And it strengthened my belief in His powers. Although it took several weeks for my husband to heal completely and walk again without the help of crutches or any support, I knew that it was possible only because of the Lord’s mercy on me and my family.

There are moments in our lives when we believe in the Lord’s powers but there remains an iota of confusion or disbelief in our minds. We ask ourselves why we haven’t received His blessings and wonder if we ever will? It is in these trying times that the Lord shows his mercy and turns us into His devout followers. Sending a prayer request to a holy site could be the answer you are seeking in your hour of grief, to instill confidence in your heart and soul. An online prayer request changed my life and renewed my belief in the Almighty. It can change yours, too.

We, The Salvation Garden, offer you the chance to send your urgent prayer requests for any reason. Allow us to pray for you! Send your Urgent Prayer Requests now.

Our dedicated team members will personally take your urgent prayer requests to a Church of your choice in the Holy Land and then offer them to our Lord. After we bring your prayer requests to your chosen Holy Church, we will send you videos or pictures to assure you.

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