Mensa Christi Church

Mensa Christi Church

opening hours : by appointment
tel: 04-6011072
mail: board@nazarethboard/org

Free Entrance

The key should be asked from a family living near by.

In Arabic it is called "Balttat El Massiach"** and in Hebrew it's called "Shulchan Yeshu" (Table of Jesus).
This ancient, impressive church, belonging to the Franciscan Order, is located in the center of the town and is inactive today. The place became very popular among pilgrims starting from the 17th century. Due to its big stone table identified as the one on which Jesus and his students dined. A similar tradition, by the way, identifies the same famous table as located in the St. Peter Church on the coast of the Kinnereth. Therefore, there are 2 Mensa Christi churches in Israel.

The table, made of limestone, was renovated and preserved over the years due to Christian believer’s custom to break little pieces of it as souvenirs or engrave their names on it. In order to protect the stone, it was surrounded with iron shed, but it was removed in 1645 by the Muslims. Some of the pilgrims have pointed out, since 1659, on Jesus’ body marks which were sunken in the stone. In the end of the 18th century a chapel was built in the church, and in 1861 it was rebuilt and started carrying masses regularly.

In the church you can find deluding paintings, molding art works and a marble altar, all made in an Italian style. In the frontal church’s facade there’s a large oil painting on a canvas, signed by the Italian painter Leonardo Di Mango, from 1876.

In the past there used to be a spring next to the Mensa Christi, first mentioned in 1626. The spring was called “Jesus Spring” or "The Messengers Spring", and the Muslims called it "Ein El-Jadidda" (The New Spring), which hints its reviving flow during the winter, but the flow stopped in 1921.

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