As the soldiers led Jesus away from the Garden of Gethsemane, they would have passed the nearby spot that become the Tomb of the Virgin Mary.
Though she probably lived and died on Mount Zion tradition holds that she was buried here at the foot of the Mount of Olives.
This has led many scholars to conclude that the land around Gethsemane was owned by one of the disciples.
We are told that being sinless and not subject to the corruption of the flesh Mary was taken directly into heaven. Thus, ever since the first shrine was erected over her tomb in the 5th century, it has also been known as the Church of the Assumption.
The Crusaders rebuilt the church as we have it now, and in it laid the ashes of the crusader queen, Millicent. Around it they raised a monastery called the Abbey of St. Mary of the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
The Moslems destroyed that monastery and its upper church when they retook Jerusalem, but the Sanctuary itself was spared because they too venerate the Mother of Jesus.
This page is part of the book The Holy Land of JesusShare this page with your friends
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