Tag Archives: Saint George

Monastery of St. George of Choziba

In November of 2016 after I had conducted a tour to the Holy Land I remained a few days in order to explore some of the monastic establishments in the desert. The monastic charism is very vital to the life of the church but oftentimes underestimated by the average Christian.

Early in the morning I left Jerusalem and drove on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. The monastery is located on Wadi Qelt which parallels the road leading to Jericho, setting of the story of the Good Samaritan. I walked through the valley, which some relate to Psalm 23, the “Valley of the Shadow of death,” about an hour’s walk through the desert to the monastery. In the 4th century several monks gathered in this location where they believed Elijah had been fed by ravens.

Walking to the monastery of Saint George of Choziba.

Not far from the city of Jericho, as I walked through Wadi Qelt, under the cliffs of the mountain, the monastery is situated by the river’s northern bank.

A footpath descends over a stream bed and then continues to the monastery.

Here in the heart of the Judean desert green trees flourish sprouting from the rocky terrain surrounding the stone buildings of the monastery.


In the early 5th century several monks lived in cells in the cliffs. John, a monk from Thebes in Egypt arrived about 480 and established a monastery dedicated to Mary, Mother of God. This is the icon screen in the monastery Church of Saint George.

Central Dome of Monastery Church.

Bishop’s chair in the Monastery Church.

Tomb of Saint George of Choziba. He survived the Persian conquest in 614 and died in 620 and was eventually canonized as a saint of the church.

Exterior of the church of the monastery of Saint George.

Notice the natural cave formations in the side of the mountains where monks established their cells for solitary life.


Saint George

Almighty God, who gave to your servant George boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.






The image above is from Lalibela, in Ethiopia, and is a detail of this:


Saint George and the Ruins of Serdica

Rotunda of Saint George, in Sofia, Bulgaria. The church was where 316 bishops convened for the council of Serdica in 343 in the ongoing struggle with Arianism.

StGeorge062505The Rotunda of Saint George is one of the oldest buildings in ancient Serdica built by the Romans in the 4th century. It was part of the palace of Constantine. In the foreground are ruins of ancient Serdica.


When the Muslims conquered the city they turned it into a mosque and plastered over the 12th to 14th century frescoes. They were uncovered in the 20th century and once again is a functioning church.

Gazing heavenward.

Ruins of ancient Serdica.