Location – The Mount of Olives
Map Coordinates - 31.777981, 35.241794
Merged Gospels story - 217
The Dominus Flevit Chapel is a small Catholic chapel located on the upper western slope of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The church was designed and constructed between 1953 and 1955. It was built just off Palm Sunday Road, in commemoration of Luke 19:41-44, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem midway through His triumphal ride into the city on Palm Sunday.
The church's Latin name means "the Lord wept," recalling Jesus stopping before entering the city to grieve over its future destruction.
The Biblical Text.
From Luke 19:41-44 we read
And when He came near, seeing the city, He wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even at least in this day of yours, the things (which would be) for your peace. But now they are hidden from your eyes. Because the days will come upon you, and your enemies will throw up a rampart against you, and they will encircle you, and press you on every side, and they will lay you low, and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Within 40 years, in AD 70, Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled. Roman legions besieged Jerusalem and, after six months of fighting, burnt the Temple and leveled the city.
The Site History.
While excavation efforts were underway, a cemetery was discovered beneath this church, dating back to 1500 BC. Also discovered here were stone ossuaries (small stone boxes for the reburial of remains), and a number of these can be seen in a grotto just inside the entrance to the Dominus Flevit grounds. These ossuaries dated between 136 BC to 300 AD. Around the time of Jesus, it was customary to wrap a dead person in linen shrouds and place them in small niches cut in the walls of tombs. About a year later, after the flesh had decayed, the bones were then placed in ossuaries.
Some of the ossuaries found at this location bear inscriptions or symbols indicating a possible Judeo-Christian origin, suggesting that this might have been the world’s first Christian cemetery.
A small Christian necropolis at Dominus Flevit.
A Byzantine Monastery Dedicated to Saint Anna.
A Byzantine monastery from the 5th-7th century was also discovered here, and mosaics from this monastery remain at the site. We know that this monastery was dedicated to the prophetess, Saint Anna, who is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. When Jesus was forty days old He was brought by His parents to be dedicated at the Temple. There they were met by a prophet named Simeon, with a prophetess named Anna standing by.
From Luke 2:36-38 we read
And there was Anna, a prophetess, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in days, living with a husband seven years after her virginity. And she was a widow of up to eighty-four years, who did not leave the Temple area, offering divine service night and day, with fastings and prayers. And standing by at that hour, she gave thanks to God, and spoke concerning Him to all those anticipating redemption in Jerusalem.
Inside the Chapel.
At the foot of the altar there is a mosaic of a hen gathering her chickens under her wings, recalling Christ’s words
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it. How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34)
The prophetess Anna during the dedication of Jesus in the Temple.