Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Episcopal liturgy at ruins of church in Ashdod, Israel

(Jerusalem Patriarchate) - Around 1921, at the beginning of work at a construction site in a neighbourhood of south Azotos (present Ashdod), the digging machine uncovered mosaics of an old Byzantine Holy Church, with the result that the Archaeological Service of Israel intervened and prohibited the continuation of the works.

Ever since the specific plot remained empty and fell under the ownership of the state. In 2009, the Archaeological Service assigned the responsibility of the excavations to the specific plot to archaeologist Dr Alexander Fantalkin, Lecturer at Tel Aviv University, who specializes in Ancient Greece in the 8th century BC. The excavations were postponed and continued this year.

A building complex with a central temple and chapels of unique spiritual and historical value were discovered during the excavations. There is a possibility that it is associated with the existence of an early form of a Hesychastic Monastery for an Order of Virgin Women with the title Deaconess.

On Thursday morning, 16/29 July 2021,  an outdoors Divine Liturgy at the ruins of the ancient Church was officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Theophanes of Gerassa, with the participation of the Reverend Archimandrites; Eudokimos, the Spiritual Father of Saint Savvas’ Lavra, Ignatios, Hegoume of Beit Sahour and Beit Jala, Constantine, Hegoumen of the Holy Monastery of Hozeva, Artemios, Hegoumen of Haifa, Leontios, Hegoumen of Rafeidia of Samaria, Marcellus, Hegoumen of Saint George in Lydda, and Farther Alexander Yasevitch, from the Russian-speaking flock in Beer Sheva...

Complete article here.

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