|A period of decadence|
* The door
* Sunday Vigil
Jerusalem fell to Saladin's Army in 1188. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was closed and no one could officiate in it. In fact the pilgrim Titimar in 1217 noted that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the site of the Passion were always closed, without worship and without honour and that the doors were opened only to those pilgrims who paid well! The Christians obtained permission to use it only during the cease fire of 1192 and 1229. In 1244 many Christians were killed during the invasions of the Charismians and the building of the Holy Sepulchre was damaged.
The Christian world protested strongly against
the massacre and Sultan Ajub apologized in 1246 to Pope Innocent IV saying
that everything was done without his knowledge. He also informed the Pope that
he had handed the keys of the basilica to two Moslem families who were to open
the doors of the basilica to the pilgrims who arrived at the site. These
keepers of the keys of the Holy Sepulchre opened the church only on certain
days and after receiving an adequate compensation. And the key keepers, alas,
are still a reality today!
© Text prepared by John Abela ofm based on articles and research
by Virgilio Corbo ofm, Michele
Piccirillo ofm and Eugenio Alliata ofm
Please fill in our Guest book form -
Thank you for supporting us!