The Pool of Bethesda

The Pool of Bethesda

One of the most honored of Jesus' miracles, the healing of the paralytic described in the Gospel of John, took place at Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda. In the time of Jesus, the pool was known for its healing powers, but the paralytic wasn't able to enter the stirring water quickly enough to be healed. So Jesus healed him immediately.

Visitors here can see the remains of the two ancient pools, constructed to supply water to the Temple Mount. Sheep brought to the Temple for sacrifice may have been washed in these pools, thus sanctifying the waters and giving them their healing powers. It is also possible that the pools served as ritual baths for people to purify themselves before entering the Temple.

The pools have been a popular site for Holy Land pilgrims throughout the ages. During the Byzantine period, a chapel was built at the site, which the Crusaders later turned into St. Anne's Church. The church was dedicated to St. Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Virgin Mary, because tradition holds that this was her birthplace. Tourists visiting the site will note its beautiful Romanesque architecture that possesses amazing acoustics perfect for Gregorian chant. Choirs and soloists often visit just to sing inside this special church.

The Pool of Bethesda is situated near the Lion's Gate, not far from the starting point of the Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross. Visit the pool first to celebrate the life of Jesus, before following in his footsteps on his way to his death.

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