Church of the Week: Dominus Flevit Church

This week's church of the week is a small Fransciscan chapel located on the upper western slope of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, known as the Dominus Flevit ("The Lord Wept") Church. It is fashioned in the shape of a teardrop to symbolize the tears of Christ because it was built on the spot where, according to the 19th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus looked over the city of Jerusalem and wept at the thought of its future destruction (Luke 19:37-42).

The building was designed by Italian architect Anton Barluzzin and constructed in 1954. It stands on the ruins of a 7th-century church, some mosaics of which still remain. The western window in Dominus Flevit provides a beautiful view of the Temple Mount, which in Jesus' day would have been dominated by the Great Temple built by Herod rather than the Dome of the Rock as it is today. It is easy for the visitor to see how Jesus could have been moved by the view...and the knowledge of the destruction to come.

We have seen this beautiful chapel on our visits to Jerusalem....most recently a few days ago! Interestingly enough, tradition also identifies this as the spot where Jeremiah, the "weeping prophet," composed his Lamentations.

This shot of the unique roof of Dominus Flevit also shows how close it is to the Church of All Nations, the spires of which can be seen just down the slope of the Mount of Olives.

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