St. Nicholas

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The Holy Land
Shrine in the cave at Beit Jala
St Nicholas Cave, where it is said he lived when in the Holy Land
St Nicholas Orthodox Church, Beit Jala
Photo: JMR/Anglican World Used by permission
Detail map Holyland
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Place of pilgrimage for Nicholas

As a young man planning to become a monk, Nicholas traveled to the Holy Land to walk in the way of Jesus, venerate the holy places, and contemplate his vocation. Such a pilgrimage in that time would go by ship to Cesarea, then make a five-day journey by land to Jerusalem, generally done on foot, perhaps joining a caravan. It is believed that he lived for a time in a cave where the St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church now stands in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem. His travels and education would have deepened his wisdom and helped to shape him into the man who would come to have greatly respected spiritual authority rooted in his actions of love and justice. These pictures show some of the scenes Nicholas may have experienced during this time.

Farm in Judah
A farm in the hill country of Judah
Photo: C Rasmussen
Holy Land Photos
Used by permission
Jordan River
The Jordan River south of the Sea of Galilee
Photo: C Rasmussen
Holy Land Photos
Used by permission
Lions Gate, Jerusalem
Lion's Gate or St Stephen's Gate, the stoning of Stephen may have been near
Photo: C Rasmussen
Holy Land Photos
Used by permission
Olive trees in Gethsemene
Ancient olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemene
Photo: C Rasmussen
Holy Land Photos
Used by permission
Tomb with rolling stone
Tomb with rolling stone from the Roman Period (before AD 135)
Photo: C Rasmussen
Holy Land Photos
Used by permission
New vineyard
A new vineyard in the hill country of Judah
Photo: C Rasmussen
Holy Land Photos
Used by permission

St. Nicholas Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

More information

coverSaint Nicholas Bishop of Myra: The Life and Times of the Original Father Christmas by D. L. Cann, Novalis/Twenty-Third Publications, 2002
Describes the culture and places of the Graeco-Roman Empire that was home to St Nicholas
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