We all hurried down and bowed prostrate in the dust just like the Crusaders before us in this same place to kiss this land three times holy. I will never forget the moment in which our eyes saw Jerusalem for the first time!Mother Veronica, O.C.D.
One of the foundresses of the Carmel of Bethlehem
On the 8th of September 1875, feast of the Nativity of Mary, the group participated at Mass and received Communion at the church of Saint Anne, which according to Byzantine tradition, was built by the Crusaders on the birth home of the Virgin. Afterwards the Carmelites were warmly received by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. In the evening they made a moving visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and participated in the Stations of the Cross to the sound of hymns and litanies.
They returned there the next day for the celebration of Mass. As can be imagined, there was great emotion during the visits to holy places: the Cenacle, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Pater Noster cave, and the place of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives.
From the latter the Carmelites were able to see the wonderful panorama before their eyes: to the East the desert of Judah and the Dead Sea, to the West the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock with its golden and purple reflexes.
Father Francesco Zampini
Life and thoughts of Mariam Baouardy the ‘little nothing’, Chapter 18
Zampini F 2018, Life and Thoughts of Mariam Baouardy, the ‘Little Nothing’, translated from the Italian by Leontini C, Self-published, Bethlehem.