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Jerusalem. People United in a Prayer
John the Baptist. 30 AD
This quiet village southwest of Jerusalem
was the birthplace of me, John the Baptist,
and is a picturesque place that you will recognise as one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith. My mother Elizabeth and her cousin Mary, pregnant with Jesus, met right here at the spot that is now known as Mary's Spring. My mother at that time, though elderly, was pregnant with me, and she awaited me with immense joy.
Lush vegetation made Ein Kerem one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in the big city: its name meant 'the spring of the vineyard' and the colourful flowers enriched every alley with their scent. Its charming stone houses decorated with arches, its bells chiming in the gentle breeze, its narrow streets paved with polished stone. In this serene place,
many Christian believers go on pilgrimage every year. Over the centuries, the Greek Orthodox religion has also found a place of peace and prayer in this small village. In addition to a church dedicated to me, there is also the Moskovia Monastery, dating from the 19th century, whose domes resemble those of Russian churches and that is why it is so called.
Other monasteries also continue the Christian cult, sealing the imprint I left here with my birth.
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