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Chapel of the Appartion


Just off the north side of the Rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre past the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene is the Chapel of the Apparition. This marks the event where Jesus appeared to Mary, His mother, after His resurrection. The Chapel is a Franciscan Chapel and is reserved only for Roman Catholic use.

Description

Compared to some of the other chapels, this chapel is in a larger room. A set of double bronze doors leads from the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene to the Chapel of the Apparition. These doors were donated in 1982 by the people of Australia. The room has a wonderful beauty in its simplicity. Leading up to the altar are three sections of humble, unpretentious benches for worshippers to utilize. Behind the altar, on the left of the high arched inset is a bronze relief of the encounter between the resurrected Christ and His mother. On the right side facing the altar is the Column of the Flagellation, which is a piece of the column that Jesus was tied to while He was being scourged by the Romans in preparation for His crucifixion. It is a red porphyry stone column. Along the left wall when facing the altar, a modern depiction of the stations of the cross run the length of the chapel wall. Light sconces are high on the walls and are placed along the wall.

History

This chapel is called the Chapel of the Apparition of Jesus to His Mother but is also known as the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. The chapel has been in existence since the 11th Century when Constantine Monomachus restored the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The modern renovation was last done by the Franciscans in the 1980s. A set of bronze statues that sit on a long mantle and express the Stations of the Cross spans the length of the chapel was sculpted by Father Andrea Martini. The Column of Flagellation had been venerated by the members of the Catholic Church for centuries when it was in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. Father Custos Boniface of Ragusa brought it to this chapel in 1553

Significance

This chapel is significant for three reasons. First, it reminds Catholic church members of the encounter that the Jesus had with His mother after the resurrection to help ease her hurt and pain from seeing her Son, Jesus, crucified in such a physically horrible scene. Second, the chapel has some great artwork and other pieces to give the worshipper the opportunity to reflect on the journey that Jesus took to the cross. The Column of Flagellation reminds the worshippers of the incredibly difficult physical agony that Jesus endured. Being beaten and then crucified was an agonizing ordeal, not to mention the spiritual weight of what Jesus was carrying. Then, the stations of the cross depiction allow the worshipper to visualize step by step the way that Jesus had to go to bear the sins of the world. Finally, this Chapel of the Apparition is reserved only for the Catholic Church to hold services. This chapel is a beautiful place to remember and worship.

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