Two nights in a monastry
The place was inhabited by hermit monks since Roman times, its name is due to Moses the Abyssinian, the son of an Ethiopian king, who preferred hermit life to the throne. At his death by Byzantine soldiers hands, an inch was kept in Syria.
The main church of the monastery has precious frescoes dating from the eleventh and twelfth century AD
After decades of total neglect, the monastery was taken over by Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, from Rome, who renewed it and there he founded a community that hosts Catholics, Syrian Orthodox and anyone who wants to have a spiritual experience.
The location of the monastery is fantastic, clinging in a gorge between two mountains and accessible only by foot, climbing a few hundred steps or along a barren, sandy valley behind. The view is exceptional: in front there’s the Syrian desert, in the distance we see a barren mountain range.
The evening offers the sunset right on the terrace. And then the night, so dark, shows a starry vivid sky.
A few people live there permanently, but the place is often crowded with visitors, most of whom, it may seem strange, they are young. Many go to Mar Musa for purely religious reasons, others seek spirituality and peace. And I assure you that you find that, though, as everywhere, you can run into someone who did not understand where he is.
Food and accomodation are free. The only required thing is to help: for cooking, for laying, for putting in order. And of course to participate to meditative events, or to the prayer. Sometime it could happen some “extra” work, as happened to me and other guys, volunteered, first to collect seeds of a medicinal plant and then to transfer gravel by loading it on a pulley.
Obviously an offer before you go away is very welcome.
At the start I decided to spend only one night, but the silence and the atmosphere have prompted me to stay one day more.
This is the monastry web site: www.deirmarmusa.org