Bronze Bird Vessel

The monastery possesses a bronze vessel in the shape of a bird (the wattles suggest a pheasant), with a coursing Saluki for a handle. It is thought to have been made in Iraq, perhaps as early as the eighth century. Scholars are still investigating the history and possible use of such objects.

There is […]

Feast of Saint Onouphrius

This year also we were able to have the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the chapel of Saint Onouphrius on the feast day of the saint.

Stairs to the Church

Stairs leading from the monks’ cells to the church.

These stairs have been there for centuries.

The skylight to one passageway is lit by the rays of the sun for a few moments in the middle of the day.

The Sinai Cemetery

The Sinai cemetery and ossuary, where the fathers who have preceded us keep Sabbath rest.

Ὅτι δὲ ἐγείρονται οἱ νεκροί, καὶ Μωϋσῆς ἐμήνυσεν ἐπὶ τῆς βάτου, ὡς λέγει Κύριον τὸν Θεὸν Ἀβραὰμ καὶ τὸν Θεὸν Ἰσαὰκ καὶ τὸν Θεὸν Ἰακώβ. Θεὸς δὲ οὐκ ἔστι νεκρῶν, ἀλλὰ ζώντων· πάντες γὰρ αὐτῷ ζῶσιν.

Now that […]

The Chapel of the Burning Bush

The prophet Moses beheld the bush that burned with fire but was not consumed. God called unto him out of the midst of the bush and said, Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground (Exodus 3:5). The Chapel of the Burning Bush was built to […]

Sinai Undisturbed

In the courtyard behind the Burning Bush, timbers and walls from long ago have been left undisturbed.

Saint Macarius the Egyptian

Saint Macarius the Egyptian wrote Fifty Spiritual Homilies. In Homily 25, he writes that the fire which appeared to Moses in the bush was the same fire, in the shape of a chariot, that caught up Elias from the earth. It was this fire that warmed the heart of the disciples on the road to […]

Philo of Alexandria

Philo of Alexandria lived in the first half of the first century. In his Life of Moses (Book One, Section 65), he identified the Burning Bush as a bramble.

ἄγων δὲ τὴν ποίμνην εἰς τόπον εὔυδρόν τε καὶ εὔχορτον, ἔνθα συνέβαινε καὶ πολλὴν πόαν προβατεύσιμον ἀναδίδοσθαι, γενόμενος πρός τινι νάπει θέαμα ἐκπληκτικώτατον ὁρᾷ. βάτος […]

The Burning Bush in Flower

In the springtime, the Burning Bush comes into flower. The petals are lilac coloured when they first open, but later fade to white. The plant never sets any berries.

The botanic name is Rubus sanctus. It is a member of the bramble family.

Egeria

Egeria visited Sinai around the year 383. She mentions the Church of the Burning Bush, and the bush itself still alive.

Propterea autem ad caput ipsius vallis exire nos necesse erat, quoniam ibi erant monasteria plurima sanctorum hominum et ecclesia in eo loco, ubi est rubus; qui rubus usque in hodie vivet et mittet […]