Maundy Thursday – the day of the Last Supper


As regular visitors to this blog know – last week I visited the site of the Last Supper in Jerusalem.  Today is the very day that Jesus is believed to have eaten that meal with his disciples in advance of being crucified and the resurrection.  The day is more properly referred to as Holy Thursday though I quite like Thursday of Mysteries – as it’s called in the Maronite church.

So the photograph below is the Coenaculum – site of the Last Supper – situated of course in Jerusalem. But most interestingly is the religious history of this building. The Coenaculum is an upper story room that was originally identified by Helena – mother of the Emperor Constantine – as the site of the Last Supper. Helena had some form when it came to identifying places to do with Jesus – his crucifixion, burial, scourging, trial, etc, etc…you name it, her imperial nose sniffed out the locations.

But a church she ordered built on this site was flatted by the Muslims when they invaded. It took the Templars to re-build it and that is the building you see today except…note the minbar. Because the Ottoman Turks subsequently converted it in to a mosque. And so it remained for five hundred years until the British Empire handed it back to Christian use. Quite a history for one room!

Downstairs – by a spooky coincidence – is the tomb of King David!

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