Chapel of the Ascension
The Chapel of the Ascension in A-Tur, Jerusalem is a Christian and Muslim holy site that is believed to mark the place where Jesus ascended into heaven. The small round church/mosque contains a stone imprinted with the very footprints of Jesus. (Luke 24:50-51, Acts 1:9-11) The section bearing the left footpring was taken to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Middle Ages.
The pilgrim Egeria visited the place of the Ascension in 384, which was venerated on the present open site. The first church was built here around 390 by Poimenia, a pious Roman lady, destroyed and rebuilt several times.
After Salah al-Din the building remained in use as a mosque for over 300 years. A new mosque (Zawiyat al-Adawiyya) and minaret were added next to the chapel in 1620 and the entire site remains in Muslim possession.
“Mosque of the Ascension”
The Armenian Chapel of the Ascension
Whose Grave is This?
Next to the Chapel of the Ascension, is a small burial crypt that is revered by all three monotheistic religions, but based on different beliefs about its occupant. Jewish tradition sets this small burial crypt on the Mount of Olives as the grave of the7th-century BC prophetess (2 Kings 22:14-20), although other Jewish traditions set the site in the City of David. Christian tradition believes that this is the 5th-century grave of St. Pelagia. Moslems have marked this as the grave of 8th-century holy woman Rabiya al Adawiyah,(for which the mosque is named). Rabiya and Pelagia had very interesting biographies before they became pious.
The Greek Orthodox Monastery
The little-known Greek Orthodox Church of Viri Galilaei on the Mount of Olives took its name from the first words that “two men dressed in white” said to the disciples as Jesus ascended to heaven: ’Men of Galilee,’ [viri galilaei in Latin] they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way…’(Acts 1:11).