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“THE CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE MOUNTAIN”
3 km south of Ajloun, in northern Jordan, lays the biblical town of Anjara where it is believed that Jesus Christ along with his mother Mary and disciples, spent the night in a cave near the town, during a journey between Jerusalem and Galilee.
The exact location of the cave is unknown but a commemorative Roman Catholic shrine for Virgin Mary, was built in the 1950s, known as “The Church of Our Lady of the Mountain” or “Sayyidat al-Jebel”, with a statue for Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, placed within a newly built grotto. Anjara has been declared as one of Jordan’s five Christian pilgrimage sites along with Tell Mar Elias near Ajloun, Bethany on the Jordan River where Jesus Christ was baptized, Mount Nebo and Machaerous where John the Baptist was beheaded.
Tucked away in the hills, 8 km west of Ajloun’s countryside, is the Biblical town of Tishbe, known as Listib; the birthplace and hometown of the Prophet Elijah who is named in 1 Kings as “Elijah the Tishbite”. A pilgrimage site grew up during the Byzantine era, around the town of Listib, on a hilltop known as Tell Mar Elias, where the ruins of a seventh century AD cruciform church with wonderfully decorated mosaic floors were unearthed along with burial chambers and water cisterns. Prophet Elijah died in Bethany (the Baptism site) before ascending to heaven on a flaming chariot from Elijah’s Hill in Wadi al-Kharrar (Saphsaphas).