5 Dec 2018 metochion of the Russian ecclesiastical mission in honor of the Holy Apostle Zacchaeus, Bishop of Caesarea Philippi, located in the city of Jericho, were visited by the Governor of Jericho and the Valley of the Jordan Jihad Abu al-Assal, the mayor of Jericho Hassan Saleh, Deputy Governor Jamal Rajab and other official representatives of the city authorities, reports patriarhiei.
Distinguished guests also visited the Church located on the territory of the monastery, which up to the present day preserved fragments of the mosaic floors of the VI century and the grave of the monk Cyriacus and inspected the repair work started by the Mission in the chapel and in the courtyard.
Then in the pilgrim house of a farmstead for tea, hospitably offered by the women of the household, negotiations were held, the main topic was the restoration work undertaken by the Mission in the courtyard, and the future of this Holy place in future plans of development of pilgrimage and tourism. From the Mission with the blessing of her superior Archimandrite Alexander (elisov) in negotiations took part the Secretary of the Mission hegumen Nikon (Golovko). Turning to the mayor and the Governor of the province, he said in part:
“Mr Governor! Dear Mr mayor!
The site of Russian ecclesiastical mission, located in the city of Jericho, keeps the ancient artifacts that roads are not just for Christians — they can rightly be considered a national asset for Palestine and its people. Today the Russian ecclesiastical mission has made many efforts to save this treasure from destruction that threaten the building of the temple and the ancient mosaics that are stored in this present in this location groundwater. We ask for your support and patronage in order to complete the work in the shortest possible time. Our thoughts and dreams that in the near future to make this site more open to coming to Jericho numerous pilgrims and tourists, and thereby to serve the development of tourist infrastructure of the city, so important for the financial development of the region.
We sincerely thank you for all the assistance we stay on Palestinian land and hope for many years of fruitful cooperation in future. May the Lord bless your labours for the good of this ancient city of the Earth.”
In his speech the Governor of Jericho and the Valley of the Jordan Jihad Abu al-Assal, said: “We thank you for what you are doing for the city, the region and promising a full support in your work, we would like to emphasize that in Jericho we don’t distinguish between Christians and Muslims: we are all equal, all welcome. We would like you to always remember: Jericho for you — a second home”.
Work on the restoration of the chapel and the ancient mosaics preserved in the courtyard of the Russian ecclesiastical mission in the home of Zacchaeus, a publican of Jericho, successfully launched and should be completed within three months.