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Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai

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St. Catherine's monastery
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St. Catherine's monastery

Saint Catherine's Monastery is a monastery on the Sinai peninsula, at the foot of Mount Sinai, in Egypt. It was built by order of the Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565 enclosing the Chapel of the Burning Bush ordered built by Helena, the mother of Constantine I, at the site where Moses is supposed to have seen the burning bush. the bush is purportedly alive and on the grounds. Though it is commonly known as Saint Catherine's, the actual name of the monastery is the Monastery of the Transfiguration.

The monastery library preserves the second largest collection of early codices and manuscripts in the world, outnumbered only by the Vatican Library.

The site was associated with St. Catherine of Alexandria (whose relics were purported to have been miraculously transported there) and it became a favourite site for pilgrimages.

The monastery also comprises the entire Orthodox Church of Mount Sinai, an autonomous (as distinct from autocephalous) Orthodox Christian church headed by an archbishop, who is also the abbot of the monastery. The archbishop is traditionally consecrated by the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem.

The monastery is surrounded by massive fortifications that have preserved it. Until the 20th century, access was through a door high in the outer walls.

See also

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St. Catherine's monastery


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