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  The Monastery of St. Katherine

The monastery of St Catherine is built over the site of the Burning Bush, one of the holiest sites in Christendom for it was here that God said to Moses, "Take of thy sandals for where you stand is Holy ground".

Sinai, My Love!When the Emperor Justinian fortified the monastery in the 6th Century, it was not only to protect the Holy sites but also to defend the Universal Church under attacks from Barbarians in Italy, Spain and North Africa and a rebellious Church in Egypt.

When the Middle East was conquered by the Muslims in the 7th Century, the monastery was protected by a written declaration of the Prophet Mohamed. The original was kept in Istanbul but a copy can still be viewed in the Monastery museum.

Sinai, My Love!In imitation of the Muslims who rejected all images in worship, the Christian Emperor of the 9th Century had all the icons of the Empire destroyed. When images were again permitted a century later, it was only in the Monastery of St Catherine that the original icons survived. It now has the greatest treasure of icons in the world.

In the 10th Century, a miracle gave the Monastery the bones of St Catherine who became one of the best loved saints of the Middle Ages with a sample of her sacred oil kept by the Kings of France in the Sainte Chapelle of Paris.

In the 19th Century the oldest bible in the world was discovered in the library of the Monastery and was removed by an unscrupulous German scholar, Von Tischendorf, with a written promise to return it. The letter can be seen in the Monastery museum but the bible has never been returned and now lies in the British Museum in London.
 
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