THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDELENE


The church in Meiliya is located in the centre of the village close to the fortress. The church has a large plaza from which there is a beautiful view of the Galillee. The church was constructed at the end of the 18th century and was renovated in 1846 after it was destroyed by an earthquake. Today one can discern in the church walls from two periods: the prehistoric era and the present day era.

The church serves the residents of Meiliya and is headed by the priest Shakur Nadim, the head of the Greek Catholic community in Meiliya. The priest, a courteous and welcoming personage, who speaks fluent Hebrew, receives the visitors and is always happy to tell them about the history of the church.

  • THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDELENE 1
    כנסיית הבשורה מעיליא - אוצרות הגליל
  • THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDELENE 2
    כנסיית הבשורה מעיליא - אוצרות הגליל
  • THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDELENE 3
    כנסיית הבשורה מעיליא - אוצרות הגליל
  • THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDELENE 4
    כנסיית הבשורה מעיליא - אוצרות הגליל
  • THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDELENE 5
    כנסיית הבשורה מעיליא - אוצרות הגליל
  • THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDELENE 6
    כנסיית הבשורה מעיליא - אוצרות הגליל

Activity times

Weekdays
On Sundays there are two Masses in the morning and in the evening

Contact and address

Location
Meiliya


According to the priest, the first Christians came to Meiliya from Syria and Lebanon, and were settled there by the Bedouin ruler Dahar Al Omar.

In the Byzantium church the direction of prayer is to the east and thus too is the place of the alter. According to Christian belief, when Jesus comes, he will come from the east (which is the reason that the deceased are buried facing east so that as soon as Jesus comes the dead shall be reborn).

The alter in the church is built from 5 pillars: 4 in honour of the New Testament and 1 in honour of Jesus.

The church is decorated with icons made of wood which have been renovated and reconstructed, and they hang on the wall that separates the church from the alter.

Impressive chandeliers hang from the roof of the church and it is built on two levels. The lower level and the stairwell leading to the upper level to the gallery recalls the women’s gallery in a Jewish synagogue, and was built when the high ceilinged church was too small to for all the believers.

The courtyard is large and tiled with wide stones. During the Christmas period a huge Christmas tree is placed in the entrance. Surrounding it are statues of Christian saints and one of them that is of particular interest is of Maria dressed in a fabric dress blowing in the wind. Also in the courtyard is work by the Israeli sculptor Yigal Tomarkin as a gesture of coexistence and peace between religions and nations.

On Sundays two masses are held in the church, morning and evening.

During the month of Christmas there is a Christmas fair in the church courtyard and a procession of the children of Meiliya also departs from the church.

On Christmas Eve there is a special mass in the church.

On September 13, the Feast of the Cross, there is a festive procession which leaves the church towards the local school.

The priest Shakur Nadim is happy to receive visitors and give them explanations about the church building and its history when he is there.

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