|The first destructions and reconstructions (614 - 1009 AD)|
* The door
* Sunday Vigil
All the lavish beauty and richness of the post-Constantinian era vanished in 614 AD when on the 20th
of May the city of Jerusalem was conquered by the Persian hordes led by general
Romizanes known as Scharbaraz (royal pig!). "Cosroe -narrates the patriarch
Eutichium in the Annals- sent his general Scharbaraz...he destroyed the
churches of Constantine, that on Calvary and that of the Sepulchre, he burned
the Church of Calvary and the Sepulchre and destroyed most of the city". This
was a tremendous blow with all the Christian churches ransacked, all relics
robbed and 33877 persons killed and buried in a cave at Mamilla (according to
the account given by Thomas the grave-digger and his wife). The damage
incurred during the Persian period was soon repaired through the zeal of the
monk Modest, who could perform the restoration thanks to the generous help
which poured in from the Christians of Tiberias, Damascus, Tyre and Alexandria.
During this restoration the spur of Calvary was covered up by a church.
The arrival of the Arab conquerors in 638 AD did not alter the sanctity of this
shrine. This is how the Patriarch of Alexandria, Eutichius (X cent.), describes
the events of the Arab conquest:
© Text prepared by John Abela ofm based on articles and research
by Virgilio Corbo ofm, Michele
Piccirillo ofm and Eugenio Alliata ofm
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