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The geographical locations of the events narrated in the Bible are not known for sure, with a wide variety of theories offered by scholars. Nonetheless, it is not unreasonable to accept the traditions that have evolved through the beliefs of early Christians. From St. Catherine's Monastery, it is an uphill walk or camel ride to the summit of Mount Sinai. The main route to the summit is known as the Path of Moses Arabic: Sikket Sayidna Musa and is lined with remains of various chapels.
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The steeper, more direct route Siket Sayidna Musa is up the 3, "steps of penitence" in the ravine behind the monastery. There is both a mosque and a chapel at the summit of Mount Moses.
The Chapel of the Holy Trinity was built in using the remains of the chapel built by Justinian in the 6th century. Justinian's chapel itself replaced an earlier chapel, built in Clearly visible from the mountain is the village of St. Catherine, located some distance from the Monastery on the El Raha plain. Not only faithful of the Christian Faith but also those of the other two great monotheistic religions, Judaism and Islam, come here, as well as those in search of spiritual help. The bedouin inhabitants of the region see the monastery as their protector.
The marble chest containing the relics of Saint Catherine is located at the south side of the sanctuary. Inside are two reliquaries, one enshrining the precious head of the martyr, and the other her left hand. The relics of Saint Catherine are brought out for the veneration of the faithful on special occasions, at which time each pilgrim is given a silver ring bearing the monogram of the saint, in honor of the ring that Saint Catherine received from Christ.
In addition to the shrines on Mount Horeb and the hermitage of Saints Galakteon and Episteme, there exist four shrines worth noting here. These are the shrine of Saint George Arselaites at Wadi Rahman, two shrines at Raitho one near the ancient lavra, the other in the area of Abu Suera , and yet another in the region of Hodra. Cairo airport is the main point of entry. Your passport should be valid for at least for six months following the end of your visit.
Three points two points and a question 1 take lots of water and snacks, as on any strenuous hike - though you can buy more from little stalls alongside the camel trail 2 don't underestimate altitude sickness - though Jebel Musa isn't that high cm, with the monastery being c m I think altitude sickness can be a problem for some people at these heights, particularly if they are unaccustomed to exercising much above sea level.
I felt lousy for much of the ascent, though better after a beaker of hot sweet tea from a Bedouin tent.
Number 9, half-way up the camel trail, is stated on the map by the carpark to be the "Galakation and episteme". Diligent research - Collins English dictionary, Wikipedia - has failed to explain to me what these are, or why they should be half-way up Jebel Musa. Is galakation anything to do with milk lactation?
Is episteme anything other than a idea of Michel Foucault? Should every hike have a galakation and episteme, or do they have particular religious relevance?? Many thanks in anticipation of an answer to 3 Martin. Looking across to Jebel El-Deir, you can see a green tree midway up the mountain.
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To the left of this is the Monastery of Saint Episteme, a nun, and Saint Galaktion, a monk, who lived in the fourth century. Lives of Galaktion and Episteme Galaktion was the son of pagan parents who, in spite of sacrifices to idols, had been childless until they were advised by a priest to pray for a child to the God of the Christians. Galaktion was born and brought up as a Christian, he later married Episteme, also a Christian.
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They devoted their lives to God and became monastics. They settled in Sinai along with their followers to follow a life of devotion and to escape religious persecution but were captured by the Romans and martyred in the arena of Alexandria.
Thanks, Hisurfer. Is this the world's first or only "husband and wife" monastery? Perhaps this was covered in the missing pages of the book I bought.
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Climbing Mt Sinai (Jebel Musa) - "galakation and episteme"
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