The Monastery of St. John in the wilderness is a Franciscan monastery built next to a spring, on a wooded slope just south of Jerusalem and not too far from Ein karem, the village where John the Baptist was born – Church of Saint John the Baptist.
It is believed that here in this grotto was the home of St. John as he was experiencing Scripture study out in the wilderness.
Right next to this cave, there is a ritual bath for purification – the crystal spring water flows from an ancient channel and then down to a pool.
Luke tells us, that John “grew and became strong in spirit and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel” (Luke 1:80). The word “desert” often refers to uncultivated land, but here it actually means pastureland – like this area.
The monastery includes a small chapel as we see here and a beautiful dining room decorated with painted icons.
Every year on Jun 23rd, a day before celebrating the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the Franciscan conducts an evening prayer service to commemorate John the Baptist as grown by spirit here in the Wilderness.
That is for today, and until we meet in my next video let’s all live the Jerusalem Experience!