Main information about St, Catherine monastery
St. Catherine’s Monastery is a Christian monastery located in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited monasteries in the world, and it has a rich history and cultural heritage. Here are some facts about St. Catherine’s Monastery that you might find interesting:
– The monastery was built by order of Byzantine emperor Justinian I between 548 and 565 AD, enclosing what is claimed to be the burning bush seen by Moses. The monastery is also known as the Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai, because it is believed that God spoke to Moses from Mount Sinai, which is near the monastery.
– The monastery was named after Saint Catherine of Alexandria, a 4th century martyr who was tortured and beheaded for her faith. According to legend, her body was miraculously transported by angels to Mount Catherine, the highest peak in Egypt, where it was discovered by the monks in the 9th century. The monks brought her relics to the monastery and built a chapel in her honor.
– The monastery is home to the world’s oldest continually operating library, which contains about 6,000 manuscripts in various languages, including Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Georgian, and Coptic. Some of the manuscripts are very rare or unique, such as the Codex Sinaiticus, one of the oldest copies of the Bible, and the Syriac Sinaiticus, a 4th century translation of the Gospels.
– The monastery also has a remarkable collection of icons, paintings, mosaics, and other artworks that span over 1,500 years of Christian art history. Among them is the earliest known depiction of Jesus as Christ Pantocrator, or ruler of all, which dates back to the 6th century .
– The monastery is controlled by the autonomous Church of Sinai, which is part of the wider Greek Orthodox Church. The monks follow a strict rule of prayer, fasting, and silence. They also maintain a hospital, a bakery, a garden, and an olive press within the monastery walls.
– The monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002 for its unique importance in the traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The monastery has been respected and protected by various rulers throughout history, including Muhammad, who granted it a charter of rights in 628 AD. The charter is still preserved in the monastery’s library.
If you are planning to visit St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, you can check this link here for mor details