DEIR MAR MOUSA

Descend deeper into the Anti-Lebanon valley to secluded Deir Mar Mousa, a living monastic community dedicated to interreligious communion.  The monastery was named for St. Moses the Abyssinian, the son of an Ethiopian king who renounced his kingdom for that of God.  It was revived by the Italian Jesuit Father Paolo dell’Oglio in 1984 after being abandoned in the 19th century.

Built in 1058, the church at the monastery contains frescoes dating as far back as the 11th century.  Among them is a depiction, in vivid detail, of the final judgment: Christ giving Peter the keys to the Kingdom, Jesus on the cross with symbols of the passion, the ten apostles and evangelists as judges, Adam and Eve and their children in heaven, and groups of bishops suffering the pain of hell fires and crying bitter tears.   Sample the locally produced cheeses, and behold the spectacular views across the harsh desert valley below.