in Christian Tradition
Palestinian Shrines Honoring Mary
of Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem
devotion to Mary developed as certain ancient sites in Palestine associated
with Jesus and his mother:
Bethlehem, the grotto of Christ's birth was held sacred.
- At the Mount
of Olives outside Jersalem, grottoes recalling his agony in the
garden and ascension were frequented by early Jewish Christians.
Mary's grave, too, was honored in this area.
- At Jerusalem,
the sites where Jesus died and was buried were remembered.
- On Mount Sion
in Jerusalem, the early church met for worship on the site where
the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and the disciples at Pentecost.
- At Nazareth,
where the sites of Jesus' early life were remembered.
and much of Palestine were laid waste by Roman armies in 70 A.D. and
again after the Jewish revolts of 132-135 A.D. Most of the native population
was deported, but a remnant of Palestinian Christians kept alive the
memories and traditions of these holy places where Mary was honored
along with her son.
Christian "Holy Land" of the 4th Century