The Stone of Anointing

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Church of the Resurrection, is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. Many Christians consider this church the holiest of all churches because it was erected on the site where Jesus was believed to be crucified, buried and risen from the dead.

At the entrance of the church you can see the Stone of Anointing, also known as the Stone of Unction, a rectangular marble slab that tradition claims to be the place on which Jesus’ body was prepared for burial according to Jewish customs.

I had the opportunity to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre several times. Each time I saw Christian pilgrims gather around the Stone of Anointing, waiting for their turn to touch it, to kiss it, or to place their religious objects, souvenirs, or even personal items like handbags and shawls on it for blessing.

What these Christian pilgrims are not aware of is that the marble slab was placed there in 1810 to replace the 12th-century slab that was damaged in the 1808 fire.

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