Mensa Christi Church
|Mensa Christi Church|
The three decades Jesus spent in Nazareth are commonly called the “silent years.” Over the centuries, Christians have sought sites in Nazareth to commemorate events from Jesus’ life. Mensa Christi, Latin for "Table of Christ" contains a slab of chalk that, according to tradition, was the rock on which Jesus dined with the disciples after his resurrection. The Franciscans initially built a chapel at this site in the latter half of the 18th century. The current church, a renovation of the earlier chapel, was completed in 1861. The Israeli government, in a joint project with the local municipality, recently completed an $80 million renovation and restoration of the old city of Nazareth as part of the Millennium celebrations of the year 2000. A part of this project was the restoration of the church’s frescoes and dome.
The church is located within a dense neighborhood, above the church district, in the old city of Nazareth. It is north of the Sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo Convent, and near the Maronite Church of the Annunciation and Ecumenical Christian Child Care Center. It can be accessed only by foot down a steep road from the Carmelite convent, or above the Synagogue church. This type of walkway is typical of small alleys in Nazareth and other Arab villages in Israel. The church is locked most of the time, but can be visited upon request.
The Latin name Mensa Christi is also associated with the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter in Tabgha, on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. This church commemorates the site where Jesus reinstated Peter as chief apostle after his resurrection...