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A Patch of Sunlight

A patch of sunlight on a whitewashed wall behind the Burning Bush. The projecting beams supporting the roof to the right are closer, and the shadows more distinct. A picket fence is farther away, creating shadows that are more diffuse.

Dovetailed Brace

A post is connected to a brace with a dovetailed tenon. The brace has been cut on both sides with a reverse ogee profile. Everything is then held in place with hand forged nails. This is Sinai woodworking from many years ago.

The Burning Bush in Flower

The flowers of the Burning Bush open with lilac coloured petals.


The passageway leading from the kitchen stairs to the church.

Sinai Post and Beam

Sinai post and beam constructed centuries ago in the desert, where wood is scarce.

The Afternoon of the Transfiguration

Καὶ ἀνέβη Μωυσῆς καὶ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἰς τό ὄρος, καί ἐκάλυψεν ἡ νεφέλη τὸ ὄρος. Καὶ κατέβη ἡ δόξα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ ὄρος τὸ Σινά, καὶ ἐκάλυψεν αὐτὸ ἡ νεφέλη ἓξ ἡμέρας· καὶ ἐκάλεσε Κύριος τὸν Μωυσῆν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ἑβδόμῃ ἐκ μέσου τῆς νεφέλης. Τὸ δὲ εἶδος τῆς δόξης Κυρίου ὡσεὶ πῦρ φλέγον ἐπὶ τῆς κορυφῆς τοῦ ὄρους ἐναντίον τῶν υἱῶν ᾿Ισραήλ. Καὶ εἰσῆλθε Μωυσῆς εἰς τὸ μέσον τῆς νεφέλης καὶ ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος καὶ ἦν ἐκεῖ ἐν τῷ ὄρει τεσσαράκοντα ἡμέρας καὶ τεσσαράκοντα νύκτας. 

And Moses and Joshua went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. And the glory of God came down upon the mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and the Lord called Moses on the seventh day out of the midst of the cloud. And the appearance of the glory of the Lord was as burning fire on the top of the mountain, before the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and went up to the mountain, and was there in the mountain forty days and forty nights. (Exodus 24:15-18)

On the afternoon of the Transfiguration I climbed into the mountains to the south of the monastery and photographed the last rays of the sun shining on the foothills of Sinai.

Storeroom 25

The door of storeroom 25 is lit by the last rays of the sun.

Feast of Saint Anne 2018

Although we are few, this year also we were able to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the beautiful little Chapel of Saint Anne on her feast day.

Carved Pomegranates

The sixth century doorpost in the basilica has a carved panel with pomegranates.

Καὶ ποιήσεις ἐπὶ τὸ λῶμα τοῦ ὑποδύτου κάτωθεν, ὡσεὶ ἐξανθούσης ρόας ροΐσκους ἐξ ὑακίνθου καὶ πορφύρας καὶ κοκκίνου διανενησμένου καὶ βύσσου κεκλωσμένης ἐπί τοῦ λώματος τοῦ ὑποδύτου κύκλῳ· τὸ αὐτὸ εἶδος ροΐσκους χρυσοῦς καὶ κώδωνας ἀναμέσον τούτων περικύκλῳ.

And under the fringe of the robe below thou shalt make as it were pomegranates of a flowering pomegranate tree, of blue, and purple, and spun scarlet, and fine linen spun, under the fringe of the robe round about: golden pomegranates of the same shape, and bells round about between these. (Exodus 28:33)

The golden bells alternating with the pomegranates represent the brilliance of good works. They are the two pursuits through which virtue is acquired, namely, faith toward the divine and conscience toward life. The great Paul adds these pomegranates and bells to Timothy’s garment, saying that he should have ‘faith and a good conscience’ (1 Timothy 1:19). So let faith sound forth pure and loud in the preaching of the holy Trinity and let life imitate the nature of the pomegranate’s fruit.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses


Pomegranates next to the church