The Church of Pater Noster is the place where Jesus taught his disciples the Our Father. The Church is located on the top of Mount Olives and is open from 8am-noon, 2-5pm (Sunday closed). It is part of a Carmelite monastery built in 1872 and is also known as the Sanctuary of the Eleona or the Church of the Disciples. The Byzantine ruins of this Church dates back to the 4th century and stands right next to the new Church.

When the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great declared Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, his mother, Helena, came to Jerusalem in search of sites that were associated with Jesus during his life. Helena was convinced that from here, Jesus ascended to heaven, and thus ordered the construction of the first Byzantine church at this site.

Hence was built one of the first three Churches by Constantine, the others being the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Today the land on which both churches and the entire monastery stand, formally belongs to France. It was an Italian woman, Aurelia Bossie, who on her second marriage wed a member of the French Royalty and became the Princess de la Tour d’Auvergne. It was Marie Alphonse Ratisbonne, a French Jew who had converted to Christianity, who convinced her to purchase the property in 1868.  

Later in that same century, a pilgrim to the Holy Land named Egeria ( perhaps a nun) who is widely regarded to be the author of a detailed account of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land ( 380 AD) referred to this church as the Church of the Eleona, which means the ‘Mount of Olives’ in Greek. Egeria based her reference on the Second Acts of John, where the existence of a cave on the Mount of Olives associated with the teaching of Jesus, in general, is mentioned. There is no specific documentation to state that the Lord ’s Prayer was taught at this spot.

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