The Historical Sites

Site of Saint Mary the Egyptian

One of The most famous legends regarding the area of “Wadi al-Kharrar” is about the life of Saint Mary the Egyptian who chose to live a disreputable life in Alexandria in her youth. She abandoned her life of sin during a visit to Jerusalem and went on to become a model of repentance.

After consulting the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem, she had heard a voice telling her: “Cross the Jordan and you will find rest”. She crossed to the east bank of the Jordan River, and spent the last 47 years of her life living alone, praying and fasting in the Jordanian desert where she could be close to God. Before dying she was found by the monk Zosima from a nearby monastery, who prayed with her, listened to her story, and gave her Holy Communion shortly before she died. Zosima buried her, reportedly with the help of a lion that helped him dig her grave with its paws.

The site associated with Saint Mary the Egyptian is in the “Zor” area close to the place where Jesus was baptized.

Watch the Documentary

And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. ... At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert... (Mark 1:4-5, 9-12)

MAP KEY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Map Key

  1. Site of Saint Mary the Egyptian
  2. Cave Cells
  3. John The Baptist Church Area
  4. John the Baptist Spring
  5. Ancient Pool
  6. The Pilgrims Station
  7. Laura (Hermit Cells)
  8. Elijah's Hill

Map Key

  1. Site of Saint Mary the Egyptian
  2. Cave Cells
  3. John The Baptist Church Area
  4. John the Baptist Spring
  5. Ancient Pool
  6. The Pilgrims Station
  7. Laura (Hermit Cells)
  8. Elijah's Hill

Map Key

  1. Site of Saint Mary the Egyptian
  2. Cave Cells
  3. John The Baptist Church Area
  4. John the Baptist Spring
  5. Ancient Pool
  6. The Pilgrims Station
  7. Laura (Hermit Cells)
  8. Elijah's Hill

Site of Saint Mary the Egyptian

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Cave Cells

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John The Baptist Church Area

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John the Baptist Spring

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Ancient Pool

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The Pilgrims Station

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Laura (Hermit Cells)

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Elijah's Hill

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© 2014, The Baptism Site Commission
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