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Martyrius of Jerusalem

 

 

 

 

 

                                                 Who are you Martyrius  ?
The Church of the Multiplication of Fish and Loaves is In Tabgha of Galilee in Israel.The place of the miracle where Jesus fed 5000 people. The first church was built in 350 AD the second one with the beautiful famous mosaics was built by Martyrius in 480 AD.  Martyrius built the church while serving as Patriarch of Jerusalem in the years 478-486 AD. Martyrius born in Cappadocia (eastern Turkey today) and after a while went to Egypt which was then the important center of monasticism. His monastery named Nitria (Monasticism began in Egypt between 250 and 300 AD and from there moved to Sinai and finally arrived to the Judean desert) .This explains why the mosaic church adorned with plants, animals and the measuring of the water level in the Nile which unique to Egypt.

 In 457 AD he and his friend Elias forced to leave Egypt and arrived to the Laura of St Etymius (you can also write Abtymius) in the Judean Desert. The Patriarch of Alexandria forced them to leave because they were supporting the decisions of the ecumenical meeting of 451 in Chaldea which was against the idea of the Monofisis Christianity (Christianity in Egypt was Monofisis)
Martyrius became a disciple of the famous monk St Etymius ( 377-473 AD) .The fifth century Etymius Monastery (in Arabic Khan Al Ahmar) located in the industrial area of ​​the city of Ma'aleh Adumim Isreal.
The Etimious monastery was start in 428 AD as a Laura (solitary individuals, and meetings on weekends for prayer and meals shared) only after the death of St Etymius when Martyrius become the Patriarch of Jerusalem the Laura changed by him to a Coenobium   (monastery cooperative).Along with Martyrius learned  St  Sabas  (monastery of Mar Saba) and St Gerasimos  (monastery St  Gerasimos near Jericho)
 After few years in the Etymius Laura Martyrius left and moved  three miles east to the exposed hill and stayed in a cave (now part of the monastery Martyrius in the city of  Ma'aleh Adumim). In 478 he will start to serve as a priest in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and later appointed Patriarch of Jerusalem till he death on 13 April 486 AD.

As a patriarch he was involved in building a number of famous sites. The Church of the Multiplication of and Loaves in 480(On the left side of the Altar there is an inscription with the name Martyrius) .The monastery Etymius in 482 and the largest monastery of the Judean Desert in the fifth century monastery called Martyrius . Most of our knowledge about Martyrius by Krylius of Scythopolis (Beit She'an Israel today).In his biography about the life of St Etymius He wrote also about the life of Mrtyrius. (Krylius himself lived ten years 525-535 in the Etymius monastery)

 Martyrius monastry within the city of Ma'aleh Adumim is one of the biggest monasteries and very impressive and worth a visiting .The monastery about 10 acres which exposed (excavations in the 80`s by Yitzhak Magen Israel Antiquities Authority), a large dining room decorated with a large spectacular mosaic, Church, stables, bath house, hostel for pilgrims Chapel,Martyrius cave and water system. (See photos attached)
The monastery was destroyed during the Persian invasion in 614, and only in the early Muslim period was rebuilt as a farm .The earthquake of the eighth century destroys it completely.
(Photos from the site by Micah Elimelech)

 

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