Deir Rafat

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Deir Rafat
דיר ראפאת
دير رفات
Deir Rafat is located in Jerusalem, Israel
Deir Rafat
Deir Rafat
Coordinates: 31°46′34″N 34°56′47″E / 31.77611°N 34.94639°E / 31.77611; 34.94639Coordinates: 31°46′34″N 34°56′47″E / 31.77611°N 34.94639°E / 31.77611; 34.94639
Grid position 144/131 PAL
District Jerusalem
Council Mateh Yehuda
Founded 1927
Founded by Luigi Barlassina
Population (2016)[1] 91

Deir Rafat (Arabic: دير رفات‎, Hebrew: דיר ראפאת‎), also known as the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of Palestine and of the Holy Land, is a Catholic monastery in central Israel. Located to the north-west of Beit Shemesh, between Givat Shemesh and kibbutz Tzora to the south and Kfar Uria to the north, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2016 it had a population of 91.[1]


Deir Rafat Monastery, 1948

The monastery was established in 1927 by the Latin patriarch Luigi Barlassina and contained a boarding school, an orphanage and convent. Currently the convent is running a guest house and a retreat center for believers and Holy Land pilgrims. The façade of the convent church bears the Latin inscription "Reginae Palaestinae", lit. "to the Queen of Palestine", and carries a 6-metre statue of the Virgin Mary. The church ceiling is decorated with a painting showing angels carrying banners with the first words of the Hail Mary prayer in 280 languages.[2][3] Since 2009, the convent is in the care of the female branch of the Catholic order known as "the Monastic Family of Bethlehem, of the Assumption of the Virgin and of Saint Bruno", called the monastic Sisters of Bethlehem.[2]

Wooden doors with "Ave Maria" carving in different languages
Church interior


  1. ^ a b "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Monastère Notre-Dame de Palestine: Deir Rafat Monastic Family of Bethlehem
  3. ^ The Shrine of Our Lady "Queen of Palestine" and the Holy Land at Rafat LPJ


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