Remains of ancient mosaic from a Georgian church found in Israel

Incredibly well-preserved remains of a 1,500-year-old Christian mosaic are uncovered in the ruins of an ancient monastery in Israel.

The tessellated tile work was uncovered in the coastal city of Ashdod.

It features a four line inscription in Greek commemorating a Christian Bishop.

It also includes the date of its construction according to the Georgian calendar.

This is the first evidence of its use in Israel and corresponds with 539 AD.

Source: NewsLive

Important ancient inscription unearthed near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem

A 1,500 year old mosaic floor, with a Greek inscription, was discovered this summer following groundwork for Partner communications cable infrastructures near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

David Gellman, the director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority said, “The fact that the inscription survived is an archaeological miracle. The excavation in a relatively small area, exposed ancient remains that were severely damaged by infrastructure groundwork over the last few decades. We were about to close the excavation, when all of a sudden, a corner of the mosaic inscription peeked out between the pipes and cables. Amazingly, it had not been damaged. Every archaeologist dreams of finding an inscription in their excavations, especially one so well preserved and almost entirely intact.”

Dr. Leah Di Segni, of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the expert on ancient Greek inscriptions, deciphered the inscription. The inscription reads, “In the time of our most pious emperor Flavius Justinian, also this entire building Constantine the most God-loving priest and abbot, established and raised, in the 14th indiction”. According to Di Segni, “This inscription commemorates the founding of the building by Constantine, the priest. The inscription names the emperor Flavius Justinian. It seems that the building was used as a hostel for pilgrims.” Di Segni added, “‘Indiction’ is an ancient method of counting years, for taxation purposes. Based on historical sources, the mosaic can be dated to the year 550/551 AD.”

According to Gellman, “The Damascus Gate served for hundreds of years as the main northern entrance to Jerusalem. Knowing that, it is no surprise that this area is rich with archaeological remains. In the Byzantine period, with the emergence of Christianity, churches, monasteries and hostels for pilgrims were built in the area north of the gate, and the area became one of the most important and active areas of the city.”

The two people mentioned in the inscription are well known from both ancient historical sources and archaeological finds. The emperor Flavius Justinian was one the most important rulers of the Byzantine period, and was one of the most colorful and charismatic rulers of antiquity. Under his reign, the Roman empire was at its strongest, and its conversion to Christianity was completed. In the year 543 AD he established a

large church in Jerusalem, dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, known as The Nea Church. This was the largest church built in Jerusalem and one of the largest in the entire empire. The abbot of the church was Constantine, whose name appears in the inscription discovered recently near the Damascus gate. Remains of this church were partially excavated in 1970, in the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, even then sparking interest among archaeologists and scholars of Jerusalem, throughout Israel and across the globe. This excavation was a part of the Jewish quarter excavations carried out immediately following the Six Day War in 1967.

According to Di Segni, the inscription found near the Damascus gate is fairly similar to an inscription found in the vaults of the Nea Church, currently exhibited in the Israel museum. The same two people are mentioned in the inscription, the emperor Justinian and the abbot Constantine. Di Segni adds, “This new inscription helps us understand Justinian’s building projects in Jerusalem, especially the Nea Church. The rare combination of archaeological finds and historical sources, woven together, is incredible to witness, and they throw important light on Jerusalem’s past.”

The new but ancient inscription was removed from its site by the conservation experts of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and is being treated in the IAA ‘s mosaic workshop in Jerusalem.

The Holy Monastery of St George is located in the Old Cairo

Προσκυνητής στον αρχαίο ελληνορθόδο ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου, στο Κάϊρο! Συγκινητή επίσκεψη, με την κάμερα του enlefkotv, στο πιο λαμπρό μνημείο του Χριστιανισμού στην Αίγυπτο. Βρίσκεται κοντά στις πυραμίδες, μεταξύ της αρχαίας Μέμφιδος και της Ηλιουπόλεως.

Χτίσθηκε στα θεμέλια του Παλαιού Οχυρού της Βαβυλώνας στην ευρύτερη περιοχή της Μέμφιδας, που ήταν η αρχαία πρωτεύουσα της Κάτω Αιγύπτου. Το 383 μ.Χ. ο Μέγας Θεοδόσιος με διάταγμά του μετέτρεψε το φρούριο σε ναό προς τιμήν του στρατιώτη Αγίου Γεωργίου. Ο ιερός ναός είναι κτισμένος στον τέταρτο όροφο επάνω σε πύργο Ρωμαϊκού φρουρίου, το οποίο πολλές φορές χρησίμευε σαν καταφύγιο των Χριστιανών. Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι εδώ υπάρχει και το μοναδικό ελληνικό νεκροταφείο στο Κάιρο, όπου βρίσκονται οι τάφοι των μεγάλων ευεργετών, το μνημείο του άγνωστου αεροπόρου και το ηρώο πεσόντων στη μάχη του Ελ Αλαμέιν. Επίσης, υπάρχουν σπουδαία έργα μεγάλων γλυπτών.


The Holy Monastery of St George is located in the are of Old Cairo. It is the old area known as Babylonos of Egypt, which took its name after the settlement of the Babylonian captives which the Pharaoh Ramses I (1390 BC) brought to Egypt from his campaign in Asia. It is close to the pyramids, between ancient Memphis and Heliopolis.

The Monastery of St George through the ages operated as a convent, hospital, poorhouse, old age home, school and cemetery, was prone to consecutive destructions and renovations, the last in 1904, when it suffered serious damage from a fire and was renovated by Patriach Fotios (1900-1925).

The Church of St George is round, eight-columned, similar to the Basilica of St Vitale in Ravenna, surrounded by an ancient wall at a distance of half a square kilometer, the largest part of which has been destroyed. In 1998 Greece undertook the construction of a new wall to preserve its ancient parts, with two entrances, the central one towards the Hegumen’s residence and the other entrance towards the Greek cemetery, which witnesses to and preserves glorious memories of the Hellenes of Egypt.

The celebration of Feast Day of the St George church by His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletopoulis on Sunday 23 April 2017

PRESS RELEASE ​​                          


The celebration of Feast Day of the St George church

The Greek Community of Melbourne’s Holy Church of “St George” celebrates its Feast Day on Sunday 23 April 2017.

To celebrate the Feast of the St George church, the Very Rev Fr Ioannis Dangaris, the Church committee and the Board of Directors of the Greek Community wish to invite all the members of the Greek community to the following:

Saturday 22 April 2017 – 6:30pm (66 St. David St, Thornbury). The Archieratical Great Vespers for the feast of the St George church celebrated by His Grace Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis.

Sunday 23 April 2017 – 7:30am (66 St. David St, Thornbury)

Feast Day of the St George church and Archieratical Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletopoulis.


Greek Community of Melbourne: 9662 2722.

Church: 9484 3423

Level 3, 168 Lonsdale St., Melbourne, Vic. 3000

Phone: +61 3 9662 2722, Email:, Website:


PRESS RELEASE ​​                          


Πανηγυρίζει ο Ιερός Ναός του Αγίου Γεωργίου

Την Κυριακή 23 Απριλίου 2017, εορτή του Αγίου Γεωργίου, γιορτάζει και πανηγυρίζει ο φερώνυμος Ιερός Ναός της Κοινότητάς μας «Άγιος Γεώργιος», 66 St. David St, Thornbury , με το ακόλουθο πρόγραμμα:

• Το Σάββατο 22 Απριλίου και ώρα 7.00μμ θα ψαλεί ο Μέγας Πανηγυρικός Εσπερινός χοροστατούντος του Θεοφιλέστατου Επισκόπου Δέρβης κ. Ιεζεκιήλ.

• Την Κυριακή, 23 Απριλίου, κυριώνυμον ημέρα της εορτής, όρθρος και Πανηγυρική Θεία Λειτουργία, ιερουργούντος του Θεοφιλέστατου Επισκόπου Μιλητουπόλεως κ. Ιακώβου.

Μετά το πέρας της Θείας Λειτουργίας θα ακολουθήσει γεύμα στο χολ της Εκκλησίας. Όλοι ευπρόσδεκτοι.

Ο Ιερατικώς Προϊστάμενος π. Ιωάννης Δάγκαρης, το Διοικητικό Συμβούλιο της Κοινότητας, η Εκκλησιαστική Επιτροπή και οι κυρίες της φιλόπτωχου εύχονται σε όλους χρόνια πολλά, υγεία, ευλογία, αγάπη και χαρά.



Eλληνική Κοινότητα Μελβούρνης, τηλ.: 9662 2722.

Ιερός Ναός Αγίου Γεωργίου, τηλ.: 9484 3423

Πληροφορίες: 9662 2722

Level 3, 168 Lonsdale St., Melbourne, Vic. 3000

Phone: +61 3 9662 2722, 



Easter Miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem 2017

The ancient and annual Miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem has made its 2017 appearance. 

Watching these videos is one of my earliest memories after first being received into the Orthodox Church. 

Join me as we explore some of the latest attestations of this miracle as we together celebrate the miracle of all miracles: Christ Is Risen!!!

ISIS Gunmen Attack Historic St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Monastery in Egypt 

One of the world’s most important Christian sites came under gun attack. The Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine, built over 1,500 years ago is one of Christianity’s holiest sites.

Gunmen opened fire on an Egyptian police checkpoint near the monastery killing one policeman and wounding four others. The gunmen then retreated and did not reach the monastery compound, which is heavily fortified and guarded by Egyptian police and security forces.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack via its news agency.

The attack on the monastery comes just over a week after suicide bombers attacked two Coptic Christian churches in the Nile Delta city of Tanta and the coastal city of Alexandria, killing 45 people on Palm Sunday. 

According to the officials, the gunmen were shooting from an elevated hilltop overlooking the police checkpoint just outside the monastery, which is located in a remote desert and mountainous area in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula, where, according to scripture, God spoke to the prophet Moses from a burning bush.

The Greek Orthodox monastery was a popular destination, primarily for Orthodox Christian pilgrims, but was closed to the public for security reasons in 2015, leaving only the monks and clergy inside the compound.

According to Orthodox Christian history, in the early 4th century, St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, built the Chapel of the Burning Bush at the site where Moses is supposed to have seen the miracle.

The fortified walls were built around the chapel by the Byzantine emperor Justinian (who also commissioned the Hagia Sophia) starting in 527. The Church of the Transfiguration was completed by Justinian’s workers in the 560s, around the time of his death.

In 2002, the area centering on St. Catherine’s Monastery was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of Mt. Sinai’s importance in three major world religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), the natural environment of the area and St. Catherine’s historic architecture and art.

In 628 AD, a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to Prophet Muhammed and requested his protection. He responded by granting them a charter of rights, which I reproduce below in its entirety. St. Catherine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai and is the world’s oldest monastery. It possess a huge collection of Christian manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, and is a world heritage site. It also boasts the oldest collection of Christian icons. It is a treasure house of Christian history that has remained safe for 1,400 years under Muslim protection.

The Promise to St. Catherine:

“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.

Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.

No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.

Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.

No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.

No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”