LEO WALKS WHERE NO FEMALES ARE ALLOWED
who may view it. In Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones who battles a group of Nazis in search of the lost Ark – although their search doesn’t lead them to Ethiopia.
The temple of the Ark adjacent to St Mary’s, officially known as the Chapel of the Tablets, was moved from the adjacent old church because a divine energy from the stone commandments had cracked the floor where it was previously given pride of place. Emperor Haile Selassie’s wife, Empress Menen, paid for the construction of the new chapel.
During his visit, the Taoiseach viewed decorated 17th century Gospels in vellum, and looked at ancient frescoes of St George slaying the dragon. He asked the guide there if it was true that the Italians had tried to seize the Ark and bring it back to Italy when they invaded in 1935.
The interpreter confirmed that was the case, but said a holy power had enabled Ethiopian soldiers to defeat the Italians at THE temple of St Mary of Zion dates back to around 300AD and claims to hold the greatest treasure in the Bible – God’s Covenant, two stone tablets listing the Ten Commandments known as the Ark of the Covenant.
It is believed that the Ark came to Ethiopia with the Emperor Menelik after he received it from his father, King Solomon.
A guardian monk spends the whole of his life protecting the Ark, being passed food from the outside and he is the only person
the city of Axum — also home to the Queen of Sheba — and they had never fulfilled their mission from Mussolini.
He was also told that if the guardian monk dies without naming a successor, the monks of St Zion elect a replacement from within their own ranks.
The new guardian is then confined to the chapel for the rest of his life, to pray, burn incense, show reverence and repel all intruders – with a bell to ring in case of emergency.
historic: The Church of St Mary of Zion in Axum