(Custodia) This past June, girls from one of our Terra Santa Schools visited the pilgrimage Church of Dominus Flevit, on the Mount of Olives. It is the traditional site where Jesus wept over the prophetic destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Fifteen 11-year-old girls visited this place, with two of their teachers and Osama Hamdan, supervisor of the activities for the Mosaic Centre and for the Association pro Terra Sancta.
The girls paid a lot of attention to the explanations and followed with fascination the restoration works of the ancient mosaics.
“I didn’t know this place”, confessed one of them. “I had never come through this gate and I didn’t know that here I would find such a beautiful place with so much history.” This girls heard about the history and importance of the place where the church of the Dominus Flevit stands today: the tombs that have been found, the construction of the first Byzantine monastery, and later on, of the modern church of Barluzzi, the history of the mosaics… After that, they met the young people who are carrying out the restoration works of these masterpieces of Byzantine art.
It’s the six local young people who have been working for a few months now on the conservation and restoration of the mosaics, together with the expert trainers of the Mosaic Centre in Jericho.
“This school visit has been the first of many“, explains Entisar, the local coordinator of the activities with schools for this project. “And after the visit, the girls will continue working with activities on mosaics in their school: we are actually organising some courses on mosaics in the schools located in the neighbourhoods close to the Dominus Flevit, and the girls are really excited to be able to continue and live first-hand this unique experience.”
The restoration and training project that is being developed at the Dominus Flevit is the continuation of the one carried out in the last few years at the Church of All Nations in Gethsemane. The young people who started their training at Gethsemane are getting more and more specialised thanks to the advanced course they are attending at the Dominus Flevit.