A. Mertens, "Who was a Christian in the Holy Land?" - Encyclopedia

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Vagarini. He restored in 1950 the paintings in St Catherine's cloister at Bethlehem.

Vahan. In a vaulted room of an underground tomb in the Russian Convent grounds on the Mount of Olives is a pavement (1 meter by 70 centimeters) with an Armenian inscription: 'Having as intercessors with God the Holy Jesaiah and the Blessed Fathers, I Vahan, have made this monument for the pardon of sins'. The inscription is from the 5th/6th century.

Valens, 28th bishop of Jerusalem, 2nd cent. (AA.SS.)

Valens, bishop of the Camps. He participated at the Council of Jerusalem in 518. He was bishop of the Camps, an enclave of Bedouins in the Judaean desert.

Valentine and Thea, SS. virgins, martyrs. Mart. Rom. on July 25. Valentina was led into a pagan temple. She refused to sacrifice. She was burned alive. Thea was arrested in Gaza, while reading the Holy Scriptures, together with other Christians. Thea was burned alive, together with her sister Valentina. In Palestine the memory is on July 22. Thea is not named in the Mart. Rom.

Valentine. A church, built by a certain Valentine, in the 6th century, was discovered in 1931 at Mukhmas, which is a village to the north of Jerusalem.

Valentinus, episcopus Muzarabus. The AA.SS. mention him, round 1106, on Jan 22. (Transi. brach. S. Vincentii, n. 2)

Valerga Joseph, patriarch of Jerusalem. He was born at Loano (Italy) on April 9, 1813. Between 1841 and 1847 he worked among the Chaldaean Christians in Mesopotamia. In 1847, Pope Pius IX nominated Valerga as patriarch of the newly restored Latin Patriarchate. Valerga consecrated the Latin co-cathedral in 1872. He died at Jerusalem on Dec 2, 1872.

Valeria, St. Martyr in Caesarea, Palestine. (Mart. Rom. June 5)

Van Ballaer Jacobus. This Franciscan started in 1664, from the convent of Boetendael near Brussels, together with Gonsales Antonius. They went via Rome to the Holy Land. Van Ballaer was in 1666 chaplain of Sir de Meyer, who was the consul of Holland in Tripoli (Lebanon). Besides Van Ballaer took care for the Dutch seamen at Tripoli. In the beginning of 1669 Van Ballaer was back in Belgium, but he returned to Jerusalem. There he died in 1671.

Van Breda, (Father Herman), Franciscan. He was born in Lier. In 1937 he brought the manuscripts of the deceased Professor Husserl for safety out of Germany to Belgium. During World War II (1939-45) he helped the widow of Professor Husserl. She converted to Catholicism in Belgium. Van Breda planned the escape of Edith Stein, who was the former secretary of Husserl, and who had joined the Carmelite Sisters at Echt in Holland. Sister Stein feared a punition from the Nazis for her monastery, and she declined to escape to Switzerland. She was arrested on Aug 2, 1942 in her monastery, she perished in a concentration-camp in Poland. Van Breda edited the manuscripts of Professor Husserl. Van Breda planted a tree in the Avenue of the Righteous of the Nations, at Yad Vashem. He received a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Beersheva. He died at Louvain on March 4, 1974.

Van Cotwyck I. Left Jerusalem on Nov 1598 (not 1596), published 'De loflycke reyse van lerusalem ende Syrien' at Antwerpen 1618.

Van den Broeck Silverius. He was 8 years in the Holy Land. He was the spiritual director of Sister Mary of the Trinity, Poor Clare at Jerusalem. He published her notes. He died at 59 years in Eeklo (Belgium) in 1949.

Van der Heyden Bonaventura. He was from Leuven (Belgium). Lived in the Holy Land from 1538 to 1540. He left a Latin description in manuscript. Andrichomius (who never came to the Holy Land) relates that he received many oral informations from Van der Heyden for the redaction of 'Theatrum Terrae Sanctae'.

Van der linden Jan. He starts in 1633 (not in 1592) from Mechelen (Belgium) to the Holy Land for a penitence. He is accompanied by his confessarius, Pater Jacobus Pussenius.

Vandermeersch B. He led in 1965-69 the excavations for 'Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques' at the Mount of Precipice (Saltus Domini, Jebel Qafzah) in Nazareth. There is recalled the text of Luke 4, 30: 'And Jesus escaped from their hands'.

Van der Stracten Jan (Plateanus). This Franciscan was born round 1570. He was Superior at Yperen, Brugge, Gent. He walked on foot to Jerusalem. He published his description, at Brugge in 1620. He died at Gent between 1641 and 1644.

Van de Vijvere, Mauritius. His family of Belgium offered in 1923 the southern altar (right nave) in the Basilica of the Agony. A mosaic represents the soldiers who fell to the ground as Jesus pronounced: ' 1 am he. ' (Jn 18, 6) The mosaic is above the altar.

Van de Wiele Albert, Franciscan lay brother. He was born in Zele (Belgium) in 1892. He helped to found the Latin parish at Salhie Damascus after 1920. He died in Mechelen on Sept 5, 1978.

Van Heirhorn, Theodulus. Born at Lier (Belgium) in 1901. He was Commissar for the Holy Land from 1939 to 1973. Died at Gent Oct 12, 1973.

Van Humbeeck Pacificus, Franciscan priest. Born at Leuven (Belgium). He was professor in Rome and in Jerusalem, he died at Jerusalem on Aug 27, 1933, at the age of 71 years. He was the organist in the Church of St. Saviour in Jerusalem.

Van Iseghern Karel. He was born at Lendelede (Belgium) on Nov 9, 1900. As Brother Marist he adopted the name of Gerard. He was Superior in a school at Arlon (Belgium), and he saved Jews during World War II (1839-45) by taking them as workers in the school. A street in Tel-Aviv is named after him. In gratitude for their escape, the saved families planted a forest of 100 trees in the Holy Land. He himself never visited the Holy Land. He died at Mont-Saint-Guibert, on April 29, 1979.

Van Masseme Jan, knight of Axel (Netherlands). At the beginning of the 15th century, he was sent on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, because he had killed another knight, in the presence of Jan zonder Vrees, who considered this kill as a 'violation of his own honour'.

Van Paeschen Jan (Paschal). This Carmelite Father of Mechelen never came to the Holy Land. On the model (and the scale) of the Cruysganck of Leuven, he assembled notes. His book 'Een devote maniere om gheestelijck Pelgrimagie te trecken' was edited by Calentijn R, chaplain of the Great Beguinage of Leuven in 1563. Calentijn was in the Holy Land from the 181st till the 236th day. Caientijn begins the 'langhe Cruysganck' (long Way of the Cross) at Gethsemane, but the 'rechten Cruysganck' (short way) at the Pretorium. The book written by Calentijn P. was published in Leuven in 1563. (Compare: Steenberg; Sterckx)

Van Ruyven Johannes (Father Athanasius). Born in 1911 at Rijswijk (Netherlands), entered the Benedictine Order in 1929. Was since 1966 chaplain for the Benedictine Sisters of the convent Emmanuel at Bethlehem. He worked also for the Greek-Catholic Patriarchate (Melkites) at Jerusalem. He guided pilgrims, especially from Holland and Germany. He died in the Benedictine Abbey of Chevetogne (Belgium) on April 2, 1977.

Van Stochhove Vincent from Brugge (Belgium). He travelled through the Balkan to Constantinople, where he received on March 4, 1631 a sauf-conduit (permission) from Sultan Amurat. Van Stockhove wrote 'Het Bereysde Oosten'.

Van Veldhoven Lucas, Franciscan lay brother. Born in Haacht (Belgium) in 1865. He joined the Custody of the Holy Land. He died at Jerusalem on Dec 11, 1895.

Vartabed. See: Vertanes, monk.

Vartabed Anastase. This Armenian in 634 mentions 70 Armenian churches in Palestine, which included Convent of St. James in the Valley of Josaphat, St. Mary's near Rachel's Tomb, St. Stephen's near David's Gate, St. Peter's to the east of Sion.

Vartabed Hanna. This Armenian monk wrote in 1744 an History of the Holy and Great City of God, Jerusalem, and of the Holy Dominical Places.

Vartan. This Armenian was the first governor of the Fortress Coket near Acre. A fortress with a similar name, Coquet (Coquetum) was built by Fulk of Anjou (1129-1143), on the westbank of the Jordan to the south of the Lake of Galilee. The fortress Coquet was also named Belvoir. It was sold to the Hospitaliers in 1168. The Arabic name for Coquet is Kawkab el Huwa. - Another Coquet (Caco, Qaqun) is between Tulkarm and Hadera. Caco belonged to the Templars Knights.

Vartan, monk. This Armenian monk was from Palestine. Vartan has seen round 1264 a chapel at the entrance of the ordu (court) of Doquz-Khatun, who was the main wife of the Mongol ruler Hulagu. Doquz-Khatun was a Christian woman of the Nestorian Church.

Vartan of Maratha, Armenian monk (1321). He could in Jerusalem visit only the grotto of the church of the Tears of Saint Peter. There he prayed, wept bitterly and composed a prayer at the request of two Armenian monks from St. James. (Bogharian, Grand catalogue of St. James' Manuscripts, vol IV, 1969)

Varus, St. He was martyred in Palestine under Maximian (285-310), round 307. The Greek liturgy has his feast on Oct 19. The AA.SS. (Oct 19) mention: Cleopatra, who brought the body of St. Varus to Palestine, round 307. (Vita S. Vari, gr. c. II, n. 12) His name appears in the liturgy on June 15 and Oct 24.

Védrines. This pilot arrived by plane in Jaffa on Nov 27, 1913, on his flight from Constantinople to Egypt.

Venantius of Lerin, St. He visited Palestine round 380 (AA.SS. June 1)

Vereshaguine. This Russian artist painted the iconostasis and the picture, which is behind the altar in the Russian Church St. Mary Magdalen at Gethsemane (church consecrated on Sept 29, 1888). The artist perished during the Japanese-Russian war in 1904.

Vergennes (de), ambassador of France in Constantinople. First in 1740 and then in 1757 the Greeks ousted the Franciscans from the Tomb of Mary in Jerusalem. To to French ambassador, the Great Visir, Rageb Pasha, declared: 'The holy places belong to my lord, the Sultan. He gives them to whom he wishes. Perhaps these places have been in the hands of the Franciscans, but now it is the decision of my lord that these places will be in the possession of the Greek-Orthodoxes'.

Verger Hubert, Chanoine (1901-1972). He conducted 11 times the 'Pèlerinages du diocèse de Poitiers' to the Holy Land.

Verina of Constantinople. See: John of Constantinople.

Verkade Willibrord. This Benedictine monk of Holland painted for the Holy Land. He died in the abbey of Beuron (Germany) round 1940.

Veronica. Tradition tells us that a woman wiped the face of the crossbearing Jesus with a linen. Jesus left the impress of His face on the cloth. Tradition has it that the lady was none other than the woman who had been cured by touching His garment, (Mt 9, 20-22; Mk 5, 24-34; Luke 8, 40-49) and in gratitude had followed Jesus whithersoever He had gone. Tradition also has it that this woman was summoned to Rome by the emperor Tiberius, who was cured of an illness by looking on the image of Christ's face. - Saint Gregory of Tours (died 594) says that Veronica was the wife of an officer of Gaul, who served in the Roman army at Jerusalem. - Since 707 a 'veil’ of Veronica has been venerated in St. Peter's Rome. The name Veronica means vera (true) ikon (icon = image). The scene of Veronica is recalled by the 6th Station of the Way of the Cross. The shrine belongs since 1894 to the Greek Catholics. Since 1950 the Little Sisters of Jesus (inspired by Charles de Jésus (Charles de Foucauld) take care of the shrine. The Chapel was restored in 1953.

Veronica de Binasco, Blessed. She planned to come to Palestine, before 1497. (Isidorus de Isolanis, Vita B. Veron., lib. IV) (AA.SS. Jan 13)

Vertanes, monk. An inscription in the Armenian cemetery otitside Sion Gate in Jerusalem reads: 'In this tomb lies the mortal remains of Vertanes the monk, who was Vartabed for 55 years. He was confessor for 20 years, a consoler tor all, he was vigilant and a toiler for the Holy Places, repaired much. Died in the Lord at the age of 92. ' (Hintlian Kevork, History of the Armenians in the Holy Land, 1976, p. 62)

Vesallus, Andreas. This physician and anatomist was born in Brussels, Dec 31, 1514. In 1543 he became physician to the imperial household of Emperor Charles V. In the spring of 1564 he began from Venice a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There he met the Custos, Bonifacius of Ragusa, who accompanied him on the trip to the Jordan and to Jericho. On the return a storm caused the ship to put in at the island of Zante. Vesalius died, either on sea (Oct 10?) or on the shore of Zante (Oct 15?) 1564. To the Pilgrim Fuhrer von Haimendorf of Nürnberg, the Population showed in 1566 on the island of Zante, the tomb of Vesalius, and the tomb of Cicero.

Vester Ferdinand, senior. He came to Palestine in 1853 as a Lutheran missionary. He lived first inside the city walls of Jerusalem. In 1868 he built the house on the Mamillah Road (Agron Street), which is now the Consulate General of the United States. In this house his son, Ferdinand junior, was born in 1869.

Vester Ferdinand junior. (1869-1938). He married the daughter of Horatio Spafford.

Vester Mrs. She was born in Chicago in 1878. She came to Jerusalem as a child of three years, in 1881. She married at Jerusalem Vester Ferdinand junior. Mrs Vester published the story of the American Colony in the book 'Our Jerusalem'. Mrs Vester died at Jerusalem in 1968. The Spafford or American Colony is now a hotel on Nablus Road.

Veurne, Boeteprocessie. This town in Flanders (Belgium) had in 1626 a 'long way of the Cross (Passion). The way began at Gethsemane, stopped at 3 falls, at the meeting of Jesus with His mother, at the help of Simon, at the wiping of Veronica, at the lament of the Daughters of Jerusalem. The way ended with the burial of Jesus, immediately after His death. - Since 1650 - through the help of the Franciscans - this 'long way of the Cross' (ommeganck) took the character of a procession of penitence: the participants carry crosses and have their faces covered by a black cape. The procession is held every year in Veurne.

Viaud Prosper, Franciscan priest. He was born at Marennes (France) in 1852. In 1881 he came to the Holy Land. He became famous through his excavations in 1889 and 1907 at Nazareth. He published: 'Nazareth et ses deux églises de l’Annonciation et de Saint Joseph'. He died at Jerusalem on Feb 1, 1932.

Vialar. See: Emilie de Vialar, St. (Aug 24)

Viator, St. He visited Palestine round 385. (AA.SS. Sept 2, Oct 21) (Vita S. Viatoris, n. 71-72) (See: Justus, bishop of Lyon)

Vichy French Troops. In World War II (1939-45) troops of Vichy French Government (Marshall Pétain) fought at Jisr Benat Yacoub (Bridge of the Daughters of Jacob). Through this ford on the Jordan, north of the Lake of Galilee, passed the Via Maris, the caravan route, from Damascus to Egypt. At this ford the Templars built the Castellet (Qasr el’Atra) in 1178.

Victor, martyr. Not identified. He is mentioned by the Palestinian-Georgian calendar on Aug 8.

Victor, soldier and martyr. He served in the Roman army during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). He was converted to Christianity. Many idolaters accepted the Christian faith through his witness. He was martyred in Damascus. Greek liturgy, Nov 11.

Victor, son of Photine, the Samaritan woman.

Victor. In the Greek liturgy, April 20. Together with Severianus, Zoticus and Eusebius, he witnessed the martyrdom of St. George in Lydda and was converted. Subsequently, Victor was beheaded during the Diocletian persecution (284-313).

Victor Emmanuel de Savoie, King of Italy. He visited Jerusalem from Feb 14, 1887 to Feb 24, 1887; a second time from July 18, 1900 till July 21, 1900.

Victor III, Pope (1086-1087), Blessed. He preached in 1087 against the Saracens of Africa. (AA.SS. Sept 16)

Victor Urrutia, martyr. He was born in Rigoitia (Spain) in 1864. He joined the Custody of the Holy Land in 1893. He was killed, together with other Christians, by the Turks, near Marasc (Less Armenia) on Feb 11, 1896.

ViIIani R. He made the designs of the mosaics for the Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. (consecrated in 1924).

ViIIanis Giuseppe, Don (1810-1895). This Italian priest came to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1874.

Vincent, monk. He was a friend of St. Jerome. Vincent refused to exercise a liturgical function at Bethlehem 'out of respect and humility'. Therefore Epiphane, bishop of Cyprus, who was passing at Bethlehem, ordained as priest Paulinus, who was the brother of Jerome. This ordination happened without the permission of the bishop of Jerusalem, John. - The AA.SS. name Vincent 'a priest'. (Sept 30)

Vincent L. H. This French Dominican priest was professor at Ecole Bibiique et Archéologique de Jérusalem. He published in 1954: 'Jérusalem de l'Ancien Testament'.

Vincent and John, Franciscans, martyred in 1547 or 1548 in Damascus. They belonged to the Custody of the Holy Land. They went to Damascus and preached there. They were decapitated in Aug 1547 or 1548. The Martyr. Franciscanum remembers them an Nov 19.

Vincentius a Paulo. (Sept 27) This French priest founded in 1625 the Vincentian Fathers (Pères Lazaristes), and in 1633 the Company of the Daughters of Charity (Filles de la Charité, Soeurs de St. Vincent). - In the Hospice 'St Vincent de Paul’ there is every year on Sept 27 the Holy Mass with the presence of the Consul of France.

Virgines VII (Seven virgins), without year, martyrs in Gaza. (AA. SS Aug 31)

Viri Galilaei. The 'Breviarius de Hierosolyma' (round 436) tells us that on Mount of Olives was the Galilee, where the Apostles have seen the apparition of the Risen Christ (Mt 28, 6) - Willibald mentions in the Shrine of the Ascension on Mount of Olives two columns: they recalled the two men in white garments, who said to the apostles: Viri Galilei, why are you (men of Galilee) standing here looking into the sky? (Acts 1, 11). The Greek Orthodox built on Mount of Olives in 1891 a chapel. It recalls the apparition of the Risen Jesus to the Apostles. (Compare: Pelagia on Mt of Olives)

Virillus of Catania. He was born in Antioch, and he became a disciple of the Apostle Peter. Virillus followed Peter to Rome and was consecrated bishop of Catania in Sicily. Greek liturgy, Jan 31.

Visconti. See: Theobald Visconti, later Pope Gregory X.

Vision of the priest Zachariah and his muteness. Recalled in the Georgian calendar on Sept 27. St. Maximus, the Confessor, names Sept 27 as the date on which Zachariah received the vision in the temple. (Kekelidze, p. 274-275)

Vitalis et Stephanus, martyrs in Jerusalem, 1st/2nd cent. (AA.SS. Jan 2)

Vitalius, monk at Gaza. He lived under the abbot Serid(i)on near Gaza. Vitalius went to Alexandria, he was then about sixty years. John the Almoner was at that time bishop of Alexandria (610-619). Vitalius feigned a licentious life and he visited the house of the harlots to convert them. After his death in Alexandria, his innocence was proved; and his accuser converted and entered the monastery at Gaza under the abbot Serid(i)on, and he occupied the cell that was once occupied by Vitalius. The feast of Vitalius is on Jan 11 in the Greek synaxaria.

Vitalius of Rome, and an anonymous, his uncle. They were in PaIestine in the 6th/7th cent. (Miracula B. Mariae in Choziba, n. 2) (Analecta Bollandiana, VII, 363)

Viventius, Saint. He travelled from Samaria to Gaul, in the 4th century. (Vita S. Viv., c. 1-11) (AA.SS. Jan 13)

Vlaminck Benedict. This Franciscan lay brother was born on Jan 9, 1845 at Waasmunster (Belgium). He died at Eeklo (Belgium) on Dec 14, 1928. He discovered in 1892 the Byzantine remains and the plan of the Crusader Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. He also discovered at Nazareth the mosaic-inscription of Conon, deacon of Jerusalem.

Volta Carmelo, martyr. He was born at Real de Candia (Spain), in 1803. In 1831 he came to Palestine for the Custody of the Holy Land. He was parish priest at Ain-Karem, and afterwards at Damascus. There he was martyred by the Druses on July 10, 1860.


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