Another Gethsemane?

Christian travelers to the Holy Land will often visit the Church of All Nations and its associated garden and/or the Grotto of Gethsemane that is located to the north of it.  Both are associated with Jesus’ experience in the Garden on the night that he was betrayed.

The White Russian Church of Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives.

However, there is a third grotto that is located on the grounds of The Church of Saint Mary Magdalene where it is said that Jesus prayed on the night that he was betrayed.  Unfortunately the church compound is only open for visits for 4 hours each week, but its glistening golden domes are a familiar landmark on the western slope of the Mount of Olives.  It is a (white) Russian Orthodox Church built by the Czar Alexander III in 1888.  The church was dedicated to Alexander’s mother, Maria, but is named after Saint Mary Magdalene who was a follower of Jesus and is associated with anointing his body.  She was at the foot of the cross (John 19:25), and Jesus first appeared to her after his resurrection (John 20:1).

Entrance to the Gethsemane Cave on the grounds of the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene.

Although not frequently visited by Christian Pilgrims it is believed by some that Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, prayed in this cave on the night that he was betrayed.

View of the altar in the cave/chapel on the grounds of the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene.

In addition to the icons, note the ossuary on the right side of the image.

To view additional, free, high–resolution images of the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene Click Here


4 responses to “Another Gethsemane?

  1. Wonderful pictures of the Church of Mary Magdalene! The site has always been closed when I have walked by. I will have to find out the hours and plan a visit on my next trip to Jerusalem.

  2. Richard Crooke

    Thank you so much for continuing to share your beautiful photos with us, Carl. Are you able to read what is written on the ossuary?

  3. Yes, Perry Philips says there are two names. The name on the left is “Saphira/Safira” and that on the right possibly “Pizolatos” The following link shows the names in detail:,2,6,19,451,454&img=IJNTMLMM11

  4. Hi Carl,

    Very interesting and special blog!

    Any more thoughts of teaching online? Once you get a system set up its as easy as teaching in an adult SS Class every Sunday.

    Still getting great comments about your teaching our SS ClSs last week online!

    Warmly, Marcia

    Marcia Ramsland, The Leading Online Organizing Coach for Business & Life Success! (858) 752-7707 “Coaching Busy People to Make Every Day Count!”


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