The Parapet Along the North Wall

The parapet along the north wall casts lengthening shadows at sundown.

Window Panes

Window panes from a kelli in the east wall reflect the setting sun.

Bell Tower and Minaret in First Shadow

For a few moments after the bell tower and minaret have slipped into shadow, the mountain behind is still illuminated by the last rays of the setting sun.

Basilica Foundations

Excavations along the south wall of the sixth century basilica reveal granite ashlars resting on bedrock.

A course of field stones was placed against the ashlars. This course is almost five feet below the present ground level.

Saint Panteleimon

I made the ascent yet again to celebrate the Liturgy at the chapel of Saint Panteleimon. I only took one photograph, showing the first sunlight on distant mountains.

Saint Anne’s 2019

Again we were able to celebrate the Liturgy at the Church of Saint Anne on her feast day. Father Iouvenalios is visiting from Jerusalem, and we were joined by four other pilgrims.

We left at 4:30 in the morning for the two hour climb to the little chapel. As we made our ascent, we stopped to rest when the sun’s rays were shining on the highest mountains, with the monastery far below.

The first arch.

The Church of the Prophet Elias. Many Russian pilgrims had gone up in the night, to celebrate the Liturgy at the peak of Sinai, visible in the distance. They were already descending.

A photograph taken at the very end of the service, when the sunbeam had almost ceased to shine in the small chapel.

Feast of the Prophet Elias

It was a joy to celebrate the Liturgy today, with a few pilgrims, at the cave of the holy Prophet Elias.

The lamp hanging in front of the icon of the Prophet Elias.

From the Pilgrimage of Egeria, who visited Sinai in the year 383,

Having then fulfilled all the desire with which we had hastened to ascend, we began our descent from the summit of the mount of God which we had ascended to another mountain joined to it, which is called Horeb, where there is a church. This is that Horeb where was holy Elijah the prophet, when he fled from the face of Ahab the king, and where God spake to him and said: What doest thou here Elijah? as it is written in the books of the Kings. The cave where holy Elijah lay hid is shown to this day before the door of the church which is there. A stone altar also is shown which holy Elijah raised to make an offering to God; thus the holy men deigned to show us each place. There, too, we made the oblation, with very earnest prayer, and also read the passage from the book of the Kings; for it was our special custom that, when we had arrived at those places which I had desired to visit, the appropriate passage from the book should always be read.

Bell Tower at Sunset

The bell tower turns golden in the last rays of sunlight.

Fragile Blossom

A fragile blossom opens on the Burning Bush.

Georgian Inscription

Three abbots and one hieromonk were recently visiting from Georgia. They were able to decipher a Georgian inscription on stone dated to the tenth century.

Here is the transcription line for line:

აჰა მთა
ღვთისა შემწყნარებელი მ
ონანულთაი ხარ          ცო
ლოცვა ყა

Here is the same text written with more natural word breaks:

აჰა, მთა ღვთისა შემწყნარებელი მონანულთა ხარ.
ლოცვა ყავთ.

A translation: Behold the Mountain of God,
which receives those who repent.
— A sinner. Say a prayer.