Preserving Mary's Spring in Jerusalem's Ein Karem Village

Marys Spring 1


Preserving Mary's Spring in Jerusalem's Ein Karem Village


The Need:


The Jerusalem Foundation helps shape a modern, unified and vibrant city by creating opportunities for all Jerusalem residents and, among other things, making the added value of Jerusalem accessible to people of all faiths around the globe, inspiring new generations.


Several churches and landmarks were built in Jerusalem's Ein Karem village telling different aspects of the story: A wall is inscribed with a prayer from Luke 1:46 in 50 languages, two bronze statues depict Elizabeth pregnant with John the Baptist and Mary pregnant with Jesus. Among other area sites: the Church of St. John the Baptist, the Church of the Visitation, Zechariah's Rock and more. Ironically, however, little has been done to beautify and enable access to Mary's Spring, the actual spot where Mary drank from the water.


The Jerusalem Foundation seeks to properly restore Mary's Spring to a condition of which a Christian holy site of such significance in Jerusalem is worthy, and to make it a safe, accessible and pleasant visiting experience for pilgrims, tourists and residents.


Impact on Jerusalem:


Jerusalem's picturesque Ein Karem village is the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist. From the Book of Luke, we know that his parents, Elizabeth and Zachariah, were living in the hill country, when the Virgin Mary came to visit. The once fresh-water spring is where the Virgin Mary drank water when visiting her cousin Elizabeth and the two shared the news that they were with child. The water of the spring, known as the 'Fountain of the Virgin', is considered holy by Catholic and Orthodox Christian pilgrims who visit in large numbers. This is part of the beautiful heritage of Jerusalem.


Mary's Spring, currently polluted, will be restored and upgraded, including repairing stone work, installing stone seating, safety rails, and warm uniform lighting and developing the site for the enjoyment of pilgrims, tourists and residents. As part of this effort, the natural spring water system will also be modernized to create three filtered fresh water pools for decorative and wading purposes. Some of the water will also be used to irrigate a developing community garden with the participation of village residents.


Partners: The Jerusalem Municipality, the Parks & Gardens Department and the Ein Karem Community Council