List of Christians in the Holy Land




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Elias Zelotes = Elijah, the Prophet. The Ethiopian Synaxarium on Tâkhshâsh 1 tells: On the day of his birth his father Iyasênyû saw two men shining with light bowing down before him, and they wrapped the boy in fire, instead of the rags in which they wrap children. And after his birth his father came to Jerusalem and told the priests this, and they said: 'It is that his abode shall be in light, and that he shall cut (i.e. decide) with his words, and shall judge Israel with the sword and with fire'.... Salutation to Elias, who shut up the heaven, that there should be no rain.


Elijah, the Prophet. Elijah, the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead (?) said to King Ahab: There shall be neither dew nor rain these years. Elijah predicted the destruction of the house of Ahab because of the judicial murder of Naboth by the queen Jezebel to obtain his vineyard for Ahab. (1 Kings 21, 1-29) Elijah held an ordeal on Mount Carmel. Elijah's appeal to Yahweh was answered when his sacrifice was consumed by a bolt of lightning, and rain then came from the sea. Elijah was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire. The belief that Elijah would return already existed when the book of the prophet Malachi was written (Malachi 3, 23). This Jewish belief is mentioned in the Gospels (Mt 11, 14; Mk 9, 11). Elijah, representing prophecy, with Moses, who represented the law, witnessed the glorification of Jesus (Transfiguration). At Nazareth Jesus alluded to the episode of Elijah and the widow of Zarephtah in Phoenicia (Luke 4, 25) to illustrate the rejection of a prophet in his own country. Elijah, 'a man like us', is proposed as a model of prayer. (Letter of St. James 5, 17). - Greek and Georgian liturgies and also the Martyrologium Romanum have his feast on July 20. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has a particular feast.


Ascension of Elijah: Greek Synaxaries have its commemoration on July 20 -, the Palestinian-Georgian calendar on September 3. An episode in the Georgian Life of SS. Jean and Euthymius tells that there was a feast of Elijah in the beginning of September in Iviron: after a drought of four months (from May till August included) rain began to fall on the feast of Elijah in the beginning of September. - The little hill, Jebel Mar Elias, at about one km. from Deir Mar Johannou, opposite Jericho to the east of the Jordan is identified with the place where Elijah went up to heaven. Jebel Mar Elias recalls the Armonia of the Byzantines.


Cave of Elijah: At the foot of Mount Carmel is Elijah's Cave, or the School of the Prophets. To the east is a smaller grotto. Officially it is the mosque of EI Khader (The green, the immortal), with a public garden round it. The Christians and the Moslems venerate here the School of the Prophet. The Jews hold that Elijah took refuge here from king Ahab (869-850 BC).


Flight of Elijah: The Greek Orthodox monastery Mar Elias is between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. According to legend, the monastery recalls the site where Elijah rested on his flight from the vengeance of queen Jezabel (1 Kings 19). Near this monastery the Magi saw again the star that guided them to Bethlehem.


Return of Elijah: And Elijah, the prophet, and Enoch shall come together in the last days, and they shall rebuke the false Christ. (Ethiopian Synaxarium, Ter 6)


Elijah of Damascus, martyr. He was born at Heliopolis Baalbek in Lebanon), he was martyred in the Jewish year 6287 779 AD). The Palestinian-Georgian calendar has the feast on Feb 4.


Elijah, patriarch of Jerusalem. He died in 513 or 518. He began (according to Eutychius) the church of Elina (= Nea), but did not finish this church. - To be identified with Elias I, patriarch of Jerusalem, who died in 518.


Elina: Eutychius (Arab historian, who died 939) mentions Elina. But Elina should be understood as Nea (Church Nea in Jerusalem) (Clermont-Ganneau, Recueil, 11 p. 137 ss).


Elisabeth of Hungary, St. (1207-1231). The Polish Hospice of St. Elisabeth (erected in 1911) is on the site of the Crusader Hungarian Hospice. It is near the 7th Station, in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem, on Aqabat el Battikh (= the slope of the water-melon). Elisabeth's husband, the Landgrat, died in 1227 as a crusader on his way to the Orient. The feast of Elisabeth of Hungary is on November 17. Formerly it was on November 19.


Elisabeth, queen of Belgium. She was born in 1876. She visited Jerusalem, together With her husband, King Albert 1, in April 1933. On Easter (April 16, 1933) they were in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Afterwards, as widow and ex-queen, Elisabeth visited Israel and the Old City of Jerusalem in 1959. On Good Friday, March 27, 1959, or (and) Good Friday, March 27, 1964 she assisted during twenty minutes to the Gregorian chant of the Officium Tenebrarum in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Elisabeth helped Jews to escape from the persecution during World War ll.


Elisha (= Eliseus), St., prophet. Elisha was called by prophet Elijah from behind the plow. Elisha accompanied Elijah at this 'translation into heaven', and received from him his mantle and a double portion of his prophetic spirit, the portion of the eldest son (2 Kings 2, 1-18). Elisha purified the water at Jericho; he cursed the mocking boys. Elisha is mentioned in Luke 4, 27: 'There were many lepers in Israel in the time of prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Na'aman, the Syrian. ' - The Mart. Rom. has Elisha on May 14. The Georgian liturgy mentions him on Aug 3, and on June 14115, on Sept 2 and Sept 29.


Fountain of Eliseus: To the east of Tell es-Sultan, where was the Jericho of the Old Testament, is Ain es-Sultan. This spring is called by the Christians 'Fountain of Eliseus'. Indeed, Eliseus cast a handful of salt in the fountain and made the water drinkable, as is related in 2 Kings 2, 19.


Mount Carmel and Eliseus: Eliseus often came to Mount Carmel, but he lived in Samaria (2 Kings 5, 9). The grotto of El-Khader was a place of cult already in the Byzantine era, as the Greek graffiti show, and without doubt, Elias - if not first Eliseus - took the place of some pagan Baal. An older monastery having been destroyed, a church was built or rebuilt there at the time of the Crusades and inhabited by Latin hermits.


Tomb of Eliseus in Samaria: In the crypt of a Byzantine church which is in the village of Sebaste, a former town in the district of Samaria, is the tomb of the prophet Eliseus and the tomb of the prophet Abdias. In 1165 the Crusaders renovated this Byzantine church.


Elizabeth, St., wife of Zachariah the priest and mother of John the Baptist. Elizabeth was a relative (degree unspecified, sometimes indicated as cousin) of Mary (Lk 1, 1-80). In the lower church of the Visitation shrine, which is on the hill at Ain Karem, in a niche there is a big stone with a cavity. According to tradition this cavity opened to receive the child John, when his mother fled into the mountains to escape the fury of Herod's soldiers, who killed the boys under two years in Bethlehem and in the neighbourhood (Mt 2, 16). A fresco of Elizabeth hiding John is in this lower church. In the wall of the courtyard that faces the entrance of this lower church, are fixed tiles with the text of the hymn Magnificat in 41 languages. The upper church has frescoes recalling 5 titles of Mary: Mother of God; Refuge of Sinners; Dispenser of Grace (Wedding at Cana); Help of Christians (Battle of Lepanto); Immaculate Conception (Dispute of Bi. Duns Scotus). The feast of Elizabeth is on Nov 5 in the Martyrologium Romanum. The Georgian-Palestinian lectionary of Paris has a memory of Elisabeth in Ain Karem on Aug 28. This memory is perhaps related to the beheading of John, which is in the lectionary remembered on Aug 29. The saving of John is mentioned in the Protoevangelium Jacobi, 22, 1- A feast of Elizabeth on Nov 6 is particular to the Franciscans in the Custody of the Holy Land.


Elizabeth and Jerusalem: The Ethiopian Synaxarium relates on Yakâtît 16: Elizabeth was from Jerusalem and the name of her mother was Sophia. The name of her father was Mâtât.


Visit of Mary to Elizabeth: Formerly the feast was on July 2; since 1970 the feast is on May 31.


Elliott Anthony, British Ambassador in Israel. He drowned off Caesarea beach on Saturday, Aug 28, 1976.


Elpidia-inscription: see Umm er-Ru'us.


Elpidius, St. He lived round 350 in the convent Douka (Jebel Qurantal, Jebel ed Duq) near Jericho.


Elpidius et Sisinnius, Saints, of Cappadocia. They lived as anchorets near Jericho, round 350. (Acta S. Elpidii, gr., cum lat. vers.; Vita S. Charitonis, c. II, n. 11; S. Basilii, Epistle) (AA.SS. Sept 2 and Sept 28)


Elpidius, Martyr. Elpidius was sent, after Ephrem and Basileus, together with Eugenius, Agathodorus, and Capiton, by the bishop of Jerusalem, Hermon (302-312) to Cherson. The four missionaries were killed by the pagans.


Elpidius, St. He came, together with St. Aristaenetas, to Gaza round 400. (Apopht. ad Vitam S. Antonii Magni, c. VI, n. 43) (AA.SS. Jan 17)


Elpis (Hope), daughter of Sophia (Wisdom). The memory of the person Elpis is on Oct 25 in the Palestinian-Georgian calendar.


Elyud, sister of Cain: see Cain.


Emerentiana, mother of Anna and grandmother of the Virgin Mary. No feast. Since the end of the 15th century, artists bring together a group of 4 persons: Emerentiana, Anna, Mary, Jesus.


Emilie de Vialar, St. She was born in 1797 at Gaillac in France. She died at Marseille on Aug 24, 1856. She founded in France in 1832 the Institut des Soeurs de St. Joseph de l'Apparition. These Sisters were called to Jerusalem by the Franciscan Custody. They erected a school at Jerusalem in 1848. Other foundations followed: Jaffa in 1849; Bethlehem in 1853; Ramallah in 1872; Ramla in 1873; Beit-Jala in 1875; Nazareth in 1887; Nablus in 1904; Abu-Ghosh in 1905. Soeur Emilie de Vialar lived in Jerusalem as local Superior and founded the school at Bethlehem in 1853. Her beatification was in 1939; her canonization in 1951. Her feast is on Aug 24.


Emirandus. He came to Palestine before 1000. (Vita S. Hugonis, c. IV, n. 24) (AA.SS. April 20)


Emir Azbach, Moudjir ed-Din. He wrote in a history of Jerusalem how the Christians built in 1489 on Mount Sion the oratory of the Virgin, with the help of money that was given by the Emirs and by others. On May 23, 1490 the Christians were forced to destroy their buildings.


Emireh. At the beginning of the 20th century a Lady Emireh (princess) began a building at the west end of the Mamillah-cemetery in Jerusalem to receive the 144000 marked on their forehead (Apc 7). It was only partly built. It has been removed by the Supermarket.


Emmanuel Ruiz and Companions, Blessed, Martyrs. The Druses made a revolt at Damascus in 1860. Among the victims 6 were Franciscan priests, 2 were lay brothers in the Franciscan Order. These 8 were killed, together with 3 Maronites, Jay men, on July 10, 1860. Pope Pius XI inscribed them on the list of the Blessed, in 1926.


Emmanuel Convent of the Benedictine Sisters at Bethlehem. They came from Loppem (Belgium), through their foundation in Algiers, to Bethlehem before 1967. They follow the Melkite liturgy.


Emmerich: see Catherine Emmerich


Empress of Abyssinia (= Ethiopia). She visited Jerusalem in 1933, with a daughter and a son, at the occasion of Easter. - The Emperor of Ethiopia, the Negus Salassie, with his eldest son and with his eldest daughter, had already visited the Holy Land some years before.


Emygdius, Sanctus. In 'Miracula S. Emygdii, n. 33' are mentioned Crusaders of the town of Asculum round 1096. (AA.SS. Aug 5)


Encaenia (= Dedication-festival) of Holy Churches. These 'Holy' Churches were the Martyrion (= Golgotha-Church) and the Anastasis (= Resurrection-Church). Martyrion and Anastasis are now included in the Basilica of the Resurrection (or Anastasis). Greek Synaxaries and Georgian liturgy have the dedication on Sept 13. - Aetheria, a nun who made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land about 385-388, describes the feast of the Encaenia at Jerusalem. It lasted eight days.


Eneas of Gaza. He wrote the dialogue Theophraste, he wrote also Letters. He was a disciple of the neo-platonist Jerocle in Alexandria. Eneas was in Constantinople before 484. The dialogue Theophraste was written before 534. Eneas directed a famous school in Gaza.


Enee, priest. He built in Jerash (East Jordan) in 494-499 the martyrion of Saint Theodore.


Enese, St. In the laura of Duq (Douka) on the Mount of Quarantine, Jebel Quruntal, Jebel ed Douq, near Jericho.


Engelbertus: see Kolland, martyr at Damascus in 1860.


Engelmarus, Blessed: Vita B. Engelmari, Nr 1: An eclipse on Sept 23, 1093, presages the first Crusade (1096-1099). (AA.SS. Jan 14).


England: A bishop of England met in Egypt Gerardus, a hermit of Cologne, round 1400. (J. Brugman, Vita S. Lidivinae, lib. III, c. VII, n. 228-236) (AA.SS. April 14)


Englishmen: Two Englishmen came to Palestine in the llth century. (S. Ealredus, Vita S. Edwardi, c. IX, n. 31) (AA.SS. Jan 5)


Ennata, St., Virgin and Martyr. She was burned alive in Caesarea, Palestine, in the time of Emperor Galerius Maximianus (305-311). Ennata was arrested together with Antonius, Zebinus and Germanus. They are venerated on Nov 13 in Mart. Rom.


Ennathas. See Mantho, virgin and martyr in Caesarea, Palestine, in 308 (Mart. Rom. Nov 13). Probably to be identified with Ennata.


Enoch. In the Cainite genealogy (Gen 4, 17ff) Enoch was the son of Cain. In the Sethite genealogy (Gen 5, 18-24) Enoch was the son of Jared and the father of Mathusaleh.


Enoch and the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3, 37. The Greek liturgy mentions him among the forefathers of the Lord, on the Sunday between 11 and 17 December. The Copts venerate him on Jan 22 and July 19. The Syrians on July 7. Copts and Ethiopians consider Enoch as a Saint (Jan 22). Enoch and Elijah shall return in the last days, and they shall rebuke the false Christ. (Ethiopian Synaxarium, Ter 6)


Enoch's Ascension into heaven: It took place on the 25th day of the month Hamle (July 5 till August 3), according to the Ethiopian Synaxarium. The ascension of Enoch is also venerated on Ter 27. (Jan 6 - Feb 5).


Enoch, Sanctus, falsus patriarch of Jerusalem in Acre, died 1227. His feast is on Aug 12. (AA.SS.)


Enos. Enos was a grandson of Adam and Eve. The Ethiopians have a cult of Enos. The Ethiopian Syn. has on the sixth day of the month Tekemt (=second month: Oct 8 - Nov 6) the commemoration of Enos, the son of Seth, who was the first to call upon God. Enos lived 190 years and procreated Cainan. All the days of Enos were 620 years, and he died at the beginning of the Sabbath. (This paragraph is wanting in the Bodleian manuscript)


Enosh, son of Seth. Enosh is mentioned, together with Adam and Eve, and with his father Seth, in the martyrology of Rabban Sliba, in the week after Easter.


Enrico. He was a cantor and belonged to the clergy of the Latin diocese of Acre, in 1220.


Epaenetus (Epainetus), one of the 70 disciples, bishop of Carthage. He is listed in the Greek list of 70 disciples. He is not mentioned in the Roman Martyrology. In the Letter to the Romans Paul writes: 'Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert for Christ in Asia' (Rom 16, 5) (Asia here means probably Ephesus). The Melkite liturgy has on July 30: Silas, Silvanus, Crescentius, Epaenetus, and Andronikus (all out of the 70 disciples).


Epaphroditus, one of the 70 disciples, bishop of Andriace, Myra, Lycia, in the Greek list. The Roman Martyrology has on March 22: Epaphroditus in Tarracina, in Campania (Italy), who was appointed by St. Peter as bishop of Tarracina. Epaphroditus is also called Epaphroditus of Philippi. Indeed a Greek tradition says that he was bishop of Philippi. He is venerated on Dec 9.
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