JESUS


JESUS

The site that recalls the best Jesus’s presence in Transjordan is Bethany. The area designated as the exact place where Jesus was baptized is marked by a small chapel supported by pillars, in order it overlooks the waters.The other places that the pilgrim can visit...

are mentioned as places where Jesus went to preach, but without physical remains connected with Jesus. The Decapolis is mentioned several times in the Gospels as a region that received the teachings of the Christ, especially Um Qais, ancient Gadara, and the country of the Geraseans, it means the region of Jerash. It is in the surroundings of Gadara that Jesus cast out the demons of two men by transferring them into a herd of pigs,  which threw themselves into the Sea of Galilee. It would be wrong to believe that this miracle had occurred exactly in Gadara, which is quite far from the Sea of Galilee. The evangelist that relates these facts mentions a region in a rather approximate way, or perhaps erred on the exact name of the place. The pigs suicide may have happened in a place farther north, where rocks fall directly into the lake.



In order to reach Transjordan, Jesus had to pass through one of the side wadis to reach the upper land. Several regions claim caves where Jesus may have stopped to rest. At least three places exist, a cave near Beit Idis, another one further north. However, Anjara near Ajloun present a special interest: 



A very ancient oral tradition, perpetuated by the villagers, says that Jesus would have stopped in a cave near this village in order to rest with his mother. Anjara corresponds to Mizpah which is mentioned several times in the Book of Judges (Old Testament). The foundations of the present convent of Our Lady of the Mount are setted on the basement of a Byzantine monastery. Therefore, the village kept hosting a Christian population perhaps since Jesus' time. The present convent and the adjunct church were built about 100 years ago by an Italian priest, Father Angelo Foresto, who wanted to reproduce architectural style of the Italian convents. In the 80s, a priest, who served the parish for over 40 years, Father Yusuf, experienced there unusual phenomena.He noted a multitude of weird phenomena, including many healing cases (some of them are officially recognized by the Vatican as miracles). A paralytic man started walking again under his eyes, and many cancer patients spontaneously healed. Father Yusuf undertook to search for the reasons of those phenomenal occurrences. By that way emerged from the villagers' narratives the oral traditions related to Jesus' and his mother's presence at that place. The element of the cave might have been added by popular imagery, as to cave is found in Anjara. For Father Yusuf, the healing phenomena constituted the evidence of the oral tradition veracity. A sanctuary was then built in the enclosure of the convent to house a statue of the Virgin holding her son inside a reconstituted cave. The statue was brought from Jerusalem in 1930. It has been made in Italy about 200 years ago and has undergone several restorations. The Virgin is venerated by many believers. It is reported, with supporting documents, that in June of 2010, tears of blood ran down the statue's face. Anjara figures among the holy places of Christianity. Spontaneous recoveries still occur there today.