After sitting on the Mount of Olives for a bit, we were dropped somewhere along the Eastern Wall. We walked south to the Lion’s gate and hurried into the nearest church, St. Anne’s.
The Lion’s Gate was built by the Mamaluk king Baiburs. We visited his castle the other day in Golan, and there were carvings of lions about it. That was Baiburs’ symbol; the Lion’s Gate is called that because it has carvings of lions, too.
St. Anne’s church was built by the Crusaders and is very much in the mediaeval European style.
It’s run by the White Fathers, which is actually a missionary order based primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. Apparently they objected, at first, to being put in charge of St. Anne’s church in Jerusalem.
The brother in the church when we got there was very jovial and seemed to know Yuval quite well.
He was from northern England – according to him, “About two miles up the road from where Captain Cook was born.” I don’t know where that might be, but he used that reference because we were Australian.
Anne, after whom the church was named, was Mary’s mother. Of course, no-one knows what her name was, but that’s the tradition. (Yuval calls them “Channah” and “Mariam”).
The church had amazing acoustics. If you spoke moderately loudly, it echoed, but it was fabulous for singing. We sung How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace. The brother there was very keen to hear Jerusalem, but I was the only one who knew that one, so I sung it alone.
(It had actually been in my head since we arrived in the city yesterday, and had only recently been replaced on the Mount of Olives, during the reading of the Palm Sunday happenings, by Sanctus Benedictus).