Pater Noster Church כנסיית פאטר נוסטר, كنيسة باتر نوستر


site Profile

A Catholic compound on Mount of Olives that includes a church and a monastery that are run by the Discalced Carmelite Sisters Order. It has been said that the church was built on the cave where Jesus brought his disciples and taught them about the end of days and they learned the Lord's Prayer, as is written in Luke 11:1-2: "He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples. 2He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father,* hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come." This prayer is called the "Lord's Prayer" (in Latin: Oratio Dominica; in Greek: Η Κυριακή Προσευήή), and its name is Our Father in Heaven (in Latin: Pater Nostar). A magnificent and monumental church known as the Eleona Church was built above the cave in the beginning of the 4th century. The building was destroyed during the Persian conquest in the 7th century CE, rebuilt in the Crusader period in 1152 and again destroyed in during the period of Saladin in 1187. The current church was built in 1874 with the financial aid from Aurelia Bossi, princes dela Tour d'Auvergne who is buried in a magnificent stone sarcophagus on the site. The Lord's Prayer was written in dozens of languages and carved into large stone slabs that were placed in the courtyard (more than 150 different languages and dialects).

The Pater Noster Prayer
This is the most basic Christian prayer accepted by most Christian denominations. The prayer is attributed to Jesus "the Lord" himself, appearing in two versions of the Gospel books of the New Testament. One version: "9 ‘Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us to the time of trial but rescue us from the evil one." (Matthew 6:9-13).
This version* is used for regular prayers and church ceremonies.
Another version: "2He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father,* hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3Give us each day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.’ (Luke 11:2-4).
According to the New Testament, Jesus presented the text of the prayer to his disciples to serve as a model for the proper prayer: "But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:6). The first two verses of the text there resemble the Kaddish prayer in Judaism.

*The prayer in Arabic:
أبانا الذي في السموات,ليتقدس اسمك، ليأتي ملكوتك، لتكن مشيئتك، كما في السماء كذلك على الأرض، اعطنا خبزنا كفاف يومنا، واغفر لنا ذنوبنا و خطايانا، كما نحن نغفر أيضآ لمن اخطأ واساء الينا، ولا تدخلنا في التجربة، ولكن نجنا من الشرير لأن لك المُلك والقدرة والمجد إلى أبد الدهور. آمين.
The prayer in Latin- Vulgate Latin translation:
Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum,adveniat regnum tuum, fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra. Panem nostrum supersubstantialem da nobis hodie; et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris; et ne inducas nos in tentationem; sed libera nos a Malo.


1. The Pater-Noster church and monastery complex is located halfway between the Betfage-Convento Delle Palme and St. Anne's Church, on the Palm Sunday pilgrimage route taken on the holy week of Passover.

2. The Incarnation- (in Latin: incarnatio) is a Christian theological term that describes the incarnation of the Son of God which is one of the three components of the Trinity, when Mary conceived Jesus while a virgin, through the Holy Spirit. The doctrine refers to the union of the human nature and divine nature of Jesus. The incarnation theory is based on these verses: "14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14), "14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil," (Letter to the Hebrews 2:14).
The incarnation represents the essence of the Christian faith where Jesus is one of the components of the Trinity and is the manifestation of God who descended from heaven, embodied in the flesh in a human body and became man and god alike. The incarnation is perpetuated and celebrated every year as part of the events of Christmas and Passover. It is especially celebrated in Nazareth, but there are prayers in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. In the Pater Noster Church the event is celebrated on Thursday, two weeks before Passover, on the pilgrimage route to Bethania/ Lazarus Tomb. Immediately afterwards, the procession continues with a festive prayer at Pater Noster. "23And the glory of the Lord ascended from the middle of the city, and stopped on the mountain east of the city." (Ezikiel 11:24).

3. In the past (during the Crusader period and perhaps even in the Byzantine period) the Holy Tuesday journey, on the week before Passover, was taken in the opposite direction. The morning prayer was held at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. During the prayer the following chapters of the Bible were read: "20 When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve;* 21and while they were eating, he said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.’22And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’ 23He answered, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’ 25Judas, who betrayed him, said, ‘Surely not I, Rabbi?’ He replied, ‘You have said so.’ 26 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ 27Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; 28for this is my blood of the* covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’30 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives".(Matthew 26:20-30)
"23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for* you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ 25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.28Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For all who eat and drink without discerning the body,* eat and drink judgement against themselves. 30For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. (1 Cornithians 11:23-32)
From there they continued to Mount Zion to the site of the Last Supper and then on to the Mount of Olives and held the Mass at the Pater Noster Church while reading passages from the Book of John: "30So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. 31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him,* God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." (John 13:30-34)
"After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered." (John 18:1)


1152 CE - During the Crusader period there was a modest church built by two brothers from Denmark, Sevin and Eskill Seviensson who, at their request, were buried in the churchyard after their death. Sevin was a bishop and Eskill was an admiral in the Danish navy. On their pilgrimage, they decided to build the small church because they could not accept the destruction of the site. The church they founded was destroyed shortly afterwards. Two large stones with engraved crosses in the courtyard of the compound are assumed to be the tombstones of the Seviensson brothers.
In 1868, excavations were conducted at the site and mosaics dating from the 5th century (Byzantine period 638-326) were found, including verses from the Book of Psalms: "This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it." (Psalms 118:20), "The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and for evermore." (Psalms 121:8). The structure built by the Seviensson brothers was dedicated to the Pater Noster prayer they found there.
The modest Crusader chapel did not last long and was destroyed in 1187 when Jerusalem was conquered by Saladin. However, ever since, the name 'Pater Noster' has been preserved. The Lord's Prayer became associated with the site and took the place of an earlier narrative that associated the site with the Ascension.


1. The Lord's Prayer/Pater Noster is inscribed on painted ceramic plates (in the Armenian style that was popular in Jerusalem) in dozens of languages and dialects. The plates hang on the walls of the cloister and in the courtyard. Over the years, more and more tablets were added by communities of pilgrims from around the world. It has become a tradition for groups of pilgrims arriving at the site to look for plates from their country, written in their language.

2. In the entrance hall of the site is the tomb of Princess de la Tour de Auvergne. On the tomb lies a statue likened to Princess Aurelia Bossi, princes de la Tour d'Auvergne, and next to her are saved the bones of her revered father.

3. In the Holy Land there are 8 female Carmelite orders, the main ones being the Pater-Noster monastery in Jerusalem, and the monastery in Haifa on Mount Carmel.

4. Christian tradition attributes a special sanctity to the cave of Eleona. The cave is considered to be the place where Jesus and the apostles gathered and prayed, and Jesus used to come to rest at night. It is written – "while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives" (John 8:1). Jesus taught at the Temple by day and at night on the Mount of Olives " When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives…Then he entered the temple…Every day he was teaching in the temple" (Luke 19). "3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ 4Jesus answered them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. 5For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Messiah!” and they will lead many astray. 6And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: 8all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs." (Matthew 24:3-8). The cave drew Christian pilgrims from all over the world. They convened especially in the holy week before Passover.

5. The term 'Carmelite' is a term synonymous with a closed monastery. The nuns are sometimes referred to as "Barefoot Carmelites" and live a particularly rigid lifestyle.

6. Edith Judith Stein: a Jewish philosopher (1891-1942) born in Germany who converted to Christianity in 1922 and became a Carmelite nun named Teresa Benedicta. Despite her conversion, she was murdered in Auschwitz because of her Jewish roots. Even after her conversion to Christianity, Stein continued to view herself as part of the Jewish people. In 1933, after the rise of the Nazis to power, she tried to persuade Pope Pius XI to act and save the Jewish people. Her tragic life story became an example of heroism. Pope John Paul declared her a saint in 1998 and her feast day is August 9th. There is a memorial plaque in her honor in the Stella Maris monastery in Haifa. On the plaque are a pair of hands raised towards a large cross surrounded by light. Barbed wire under the outstretched arms hint at the death camps together with the Star of David.

site Interrelations

1. Adjacent sites: Benedictine Sisters Monastery (site no. 461), Seven Arches Hotel (site no. 523), Tomb of the Prophetess Pelagia-Rabaa al Adawiyya- Hulda (site no. 505), Church of the Ascension (site no. 468).

2. Link to St. Anne's Church (site no. 264). The 'White Fathers' are in contact with the monastery and hold a daily mass for the Carmelite nuns.

3. Linked to 36 other sites that serve as Catholic monasteries and religious institutions in Jerusalem, 37 female orders and 13 male orders.

4. Sites, complexes and institutions supported by the French government (some
of them owned by the French government): Colle'ge des Fre'res (site no. 331), Tombs of the Kings (site no. 538), St. Louis French Hospital (site no. 499), St. Joseph's Hospital (Sheikh Jarrah), Saint Vincent de Paul Monastery (site no. 501), Dom Polski (site no. 345), The Sisters of Notre-Dame de Sion Convent (site no. 261), Rosary Sisters Convent (site no. 337), Lazarist Monastery in Agron street (site no. 338), Paulushaus - Pilgrim House (site no. 491), Maronite Catholic Patriarchate (site no. 269), Syrian Catholic Patriarchate (site no. 530), St. Anne's Church (site no. 264), Monastery of St. Peter in Gallicantu (site no. 488), Saint Étienne Church (site no. 454).

visit Schedule

Monday-Saturday between 08:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Sunday (closed).

visit Price

Adults 10 NIS, child/student 8 NIS

visit Note

There is a souvenir shop for pilgrims and bathroom services for the public.

zoning Status

Bloc 29993, Plots 1+2 (unregistered), the area is subject to Urban Building Plan No. AM/9 effective from March 31, 1977. The area is meant for public buildings in the northern part (the monastery and church areas) and a private open area in the southern wing. The site includes about 50 dunams of land. The courtyard and garden include an olive grove, agricultural terraces and a small cemetery and consists of about 30 dunams. The western wing is about 10 dunams and includes open place for Mass for guests and pilgrims. There is a private cemetery in the southern end of the courtyard for the "White Fathers" and members of the Carmelite Order.


  • Main: Pater Noster Church
    • Phone: 02-6283143
    • Fax: 02-6274664
    • Monastery of the Carmel of the Pater Noster A-Shayah Street, 6 P.O.B. 19064 Jerusalem 9119001
  • Owner: French Government
  • Management: Discalced Carmelite Sisters - Monastery of Pater Noster "Carmel du Pater Noster"

Tension Level

  • None
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High


  • Monument (Christian) active
  • Church (Roman Catholic) active
  • Monestary (Discalced Carmelite Sisters) active

Relations to Other Sites