“Ama Niamo” now Included in Pater Noster Church in Holy Land
Sitting atop the Mount of Olives, the Pater Noster Church is one of several buildings in the region that owes its current existence to the Carmelites, but its story extends much further back than this religious order. According to the Bible’s Gospel of Luke, Jesus Christ taught the Lord’s Prayer to his disciples somewhere between Betfage and Jerusalem. Since the Mount of Olives falls between these two cities, believers speculate that the prayer that beings “Our Father” (or “Pater Noster” in Latin) was first shared within one of the mount’s caves.
Today this belief is beautifully represented in the walls of the ancient Pater Noster Church, which is part of the Carmelite monastery. Embedded within the walls are a series of regularly spaced long ceramic tiles. Each includes a colorful border of flowers painted in a charmingly earthy palette, within which the Lord’s Prayer unfolds in a wide variety of elegant scripts.
Over 140 languages are represented, including those that are rarely given exposure outside of their particular linguistic communities. Nahuatl, Ilonggo, Coptic, Sioux, Burmese, and Gaelic are just a sampling of the myriad languages that visitors can appreciate as they stroll along the corridors of the monastic complex and church interior. Pilgrims from all over the world come to see their mother tongues represented, and to appreciate those of others.
Last August 2019, the French Consulate in Jerusalem, finally approved the installation of AMA NIAMO in the Church of the Pater Noster.
This was made possible through the efforts of Lizsa Andaya Lutero of ACT Travel and Services, Meteor Tours and Eternity Tours, and upon the endorsement of Caceres Archbishop Rolando J Tirona.
Last March 4, together with more than 100 Bicolano-pilgrims, Archbishop Tirona led the formal blessing and unveiling of the Ama Niamo Marker.