DEDICATION OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE
The Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre – the Church of the Resurrection – is the most sacred site in the world for Christians. It is the site of the crucifixion, burial and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Like the mystery it holds, it is a place of disfigured and transfigured beauty:
The Basilica was built by the Emperor Constantine and his Mother, St. Helena, and dedicated around the year 336, burned by the Persians in 614, restored by Modestus, destroyed again around 1009 by caliph Al-Hakim Ami Allah and again restored by the Byzantine emperor, Constantine Monomachus. In the 12th century, the Crusaders rebuild parts of the Church. The present structure dates to 1810.
Each 15 July, the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land celebrates this solemn Dedication, a memorial of the first dedication in 1149, when the Crusaders consecrated the altar of the newly rebuilt church.
Photo © Nadim Asfour/CTS