The Monastery is dedicated to the Holy Cross and this is because it contains the site on which was planted the tree from which the Cross was constructed. The story of the tree from which the Holy Cross was fashioned begins in the reign of Patriarch Abraham and is connected to the appearance of the Holy Trinity before Abraham at Mabri in the form of three angels. The tradition mentions that before departing for Sodom the Angels left their three staffs with Abraham. Following the destruction of Sodom, Lot became an unwilling cause of incest. According to the Old Testament and the book of Genesis (19:27-38). Following the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lod fled to a cave with his two daughters. There, after getting him drunk, his daughters slept with him to acquire descendants. The two children that were born created the tribes of the Moabites and Ammonites.
After this terrible act, Lot found refuge in present day Oad-el-Moualape, where he prayed and sought God’s forgiveness for his heinous crime. He also consulted with Abraham and asked him what he should do to find redemption. Abraham gave Lot the staffs that the Three Angels had left him and told him to plant them on the outskirts of Jerusalem. He instructed him to water the staffs with water from the river Jordan and told him that if the staffs blossomed it would signify that God forgives his sins, if not, then he was not forgiven.
The devil attempted to prevent Lot from watering the staffs as Abraham had instructed but did not succeed. With the passage of time the staffs took root and blossomed into a single tree of pine, cypress and cedar. According to tradition the Roman Governor of Judea who oversaw the conviction of Christ (Matt 26:57, John 18:13) ordered the Cross of Christ be constructed from this cursed wood. He believed that with the variations of its height Christ would suffer more and that with his crucifixion on this wood, He would be further dishonoured.
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