The Holy Virgin's Well in Beit Sahour
The Holy Virgin's Well is located in the old market of the city of Beit Sahour, around 1 kilometer away from the Shepherds' Field. The Holy Virgin's Well in Beit-Sahour is characterized by its holiness to Christian people. This is because of its connection to a lot of historical incidents such as the appearances of the Holy Virgin which are still happening nowadays from time to time. This Holy Virgin's well has fulfilled a spiritual gap in the lives of the people and became a place for believers, pilgrims and a resource of mercy, health and support.
Watch Our Visit to Virgin Mary's Well:
The common traditions states that our Lady the Holy Virgin drank from this well when she was escaping to Egypt, running away from Herod who ordered to kill all the children of Bethlehem:
"Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child to destroy him." and he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-15).
Other tradition says that the Holy Virgin was feeling thirsty while travelling where she asked some women who were filling their water Jars to give her to drink, but the women refused her request. Then the Holy Virgin turned towards the well saying: "Oh well fill fill to drink from you" and then water rose by itself for her to drink and went back to the same level. The level is still the same ever since.
Fifty years ago there were lots of heavy rain and water flood coming around the well in the city center. Shepherds used to bring their sheep and cattle to drink from that water collection. The Municipality at the time decided to close down the well to prevent insects from collecting around due to animal's presence. Days after this closure, The Holy Virgin Mary appeared at night to a citizen who was called Hanna Awad, and asked him to tell the Municipality to re-open the well to the public without any delay, and he informed them about his vision at night, where they decided to obey the Holy Virgin's order. However, the water of the well is drinkable.
The Building of the Church
The story of building the church is referred to a miracle that happened to a Cypriot Nun who was very ill, and she asked the Holy Virgin to help her and cure her from cancer as doctors could not find any treatment for her. The Holy Virgin asked her to drink from the well water at the shepherd's village in Beit Sahour, the thing which she did and recovered totally astonishing her doctors. In respect to the Holy Virgin she came back to Beit Sahour with her rich father, and they were hosted by the Mayor of the Municipality Mr. Nicola Abu-Aita at that time, who received them in his home, and they donated a lot of money asking him to renew the Holy Virgin Well and to build the church. The municipality renovated the church and renewed the well from inside.
The Cypriot Nun with the Mayor
One significant miracle of the many ones that happened in this well is when a notable from Beit-Sahour was diagnosed of having Colon Cancer as appeared by ultrasound and he was advised of immediate surgical Virgin drank operation. He went to the Holy Shrine and prayed to the a from the well's water, and next day went to the famous for check and operation, and the great surprise was when the colonoscopy showed no sign of cancer. All medical tests are still available proving this miracle.
Ibrahim and Issa Mansour, neighbors of the well, told about an incident that took place in 1945 to one of the peasants from the village of Taamreh who worked for them "The man arrived to Beit hour late at night, found that the residents are asleep, so he decided to find a refuge in one the caves in the vicinity of the well. In the early morning he woke u some sounds arising the well with some good smell. He leaned out from see what was going on; saw an astonishing and amazing scene. He he saw a woman dressed in white accompanied by number of children singing carols with beautiful sounds. They walked towards the well and went down inside it. This man was much afraid of what he saw. He Told Ibrahim Mansour about what happened thinking that it was a suicide accident. He was afraid to be accused of a crime so he asked protection from him. This man did not realize that the lady was Virgin Mary surrounded with some angels. This was not the first time that Virgin Mary appeared in this way.
The repeated appearances of the Holy Virgin around the well are a clear sign to us to keep and respect the Holy place. Virgin Mary's Well occupies a special place in the lives of its people. lt is not strange to see the Holy Virgin appearing in this place which s connected to her name from the past, to call the people for prayers and faith, and to remind them of the values and principles they have to keep. The fact that a lot of individuals of different social classes and different faiths witnessed the appearances of the Holy Virgin, the thing which made the well with all its different communities, and it is no wonder that the majority of those who had seen the Holy Virgin were local Muslims and others.
The Virgin's Well became the pulse of the spiritual life in the city and represents the heart and feelings of the people. Different people from different Communities gather in the church of the Holy This well became the spirit of the city, and a place where people gather for prayers in the time of danger and hardships. The prayers are different in the Holy virgin well from other churches. In this place all the different communities, Christians and Muslims, rich and poor, local and strangers, young and elderly pray together.
Every year on 28th of August the Orthodox Church celebrates a special day for the death of the Holy Virgin, and in this place after the services there is a religious mass and a parade where people gather with all the priests and march towards all churches in Beit Sahour.
Join one of our 2018/2019/2020 upcoming pilgrimages and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, and get the chance to explore The Holy Virgin's Well in Beit Sahour!