Anjara, Lady of the Mountain

The ancient town of Anjara is located in the hills of Gilead, east of the Jordan Valley. The Bible makes mention of this town as a place where Jesus, his mother Mary and his disciples passed through and rested in a nearby cave. The cave, which has long been a Holy place for pilgrims, has now been commemorated with the Church of Our Lady of the Mountain. The cave was also designated by the Catholic Churches of the Middle East as one of the five pilgrimage sites for the Year 2000. The others were Mount Nebo, Machaerus, Tall Mar Elias near Ajlun, and Bethany Beyond the Jordan. The entire country of Jordan is filled with Biblical treasures, namely numerous historic sites that mark some of the most significant events in the salvation history, including Anjara.

Anjara is located in the hills of Gilead, east of the Jordan valley where several events mentioned in the Holy Bible took place. This pilgrimage was launched by Fr. Yousef Ne’mat, a priest of the Latin Patriarchate, who built the first sanctuary in memory of the passing of Lord Jesus Christ in this place. Fr. Ne’mat brought a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Jerusalem and enthroned it in the shrine. The carved-wood statue is perhaps 150-200 years old and was made in Italy. As soon as the statue was placed, things started happening with what God is saying to us.

According to Christian sources, Blessed Virgin Mary and Lord Jesus Christ walked the mountain range, which runs along the Jordan, and took refuge for a time here in the present location of Anjara during their journey. The sources hold that Lord Jesus, Blessed Mary, and some of his disciples stayed overnight in a cave in the Ajloun mountains nearby during one of Jesus’ trips from Jerusalem to Galilee.

This pilgrimage gradually became one of the important feasts in the Jordanian Church. It is worthy to mote that on May 6, 2010 the statue of Our Lady of the Mount shed tears of blood. This sanctuary has thus become part of a holy route in Jordan, visited by thousands of pilgrims every year.

It is related that one Incarnate Word nun and three ladies from the parish, along with some girls, were cleaning the sanctuary of the shrine. As the nun began wiping the locked glass door of the case that housed the statue of Mary — a door that was kept locked at all times — she saw the statue blink as if it were alive. Then the statue began to cry red tears. One of the school students also saw the statue blink and began to cry. Their shocked screams brought parish members rushing to the shrine; they also saw the tears.

Word of the miracle spread, and the local bishop issued a request to have the tears analyzed at a hospital in Irbid. It was confirmed that the tears were of human blood, according to a plaque that stands at the back of the shrine. Also according to the plaque, shortly after the tears were seen, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem gave recognition to the event as a valid miracle. Remnants of the blood still can be seen on the statue’s face.