"Not All Who Wander Are Lost"

Adventure Pilgrimage: Ark of the Covenant

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A few weeks ago I had the blessed opportunity to engage in an adventure pilgrimage to be at the location where the locals have a strong and long tradition that the Ark of the Covenant rests in a church in Axum, Ethiopia. The tradition holds that the Ark of the Covenant is at St Mary of Zion Church in Axum. This tradition is based on actual historical facts and all indications demonstrate that the Ark is inside St Mary of Zion Church. Although many locations around the globe have been indicated to have the Ark, such as in Egypt, underground in Jerusalem, or even in England, no other location as Axum comes close in terms of historical evidence, tradition, and faith.What is the Ark? God ordered Moses to build the Ark in order to place the tables of the Law – the Ten Commandments. The Ark of the Covenant was a kind of chest, measuring two cubits and a half in length, a cubit and a half in breadth, and a cubit and a half in height. Made of setim wood (an incorruptible acacia), it was overlaid within and without with the purest gold, and a golden crown or rim ran around it. At the four corners, very likely towards the upper part, four golden rings had been cast; through them 

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 two bars of setim wood overlaid with gold, to carry the Ark. These two bars were to remain always in the rings, even when the Ark had been placed in the temple of Solomon. The cover of the Ark, termed the “propitiatory” (the corresponding Hebrew means both “cover” and “that which makes propitious”), was likewise of the purest gold.

Upon it had been place two cherubim of beaten gold, looking towards each other, and spreading their wings so that both sides of the propitiatory were covered. What exactly these cherubim were, is impossible to determine; however, from the analogy with Egyptian religious art, it may well be supposed that they were images, kneeling or standing, of winged persons. It is worth noticing that this is the only exception to the law forbidding the Israelites to make carved images, an exception so much the more harmless to the faith of the Israelites in a spiritual God because the Ark was regularly to be kept behind the veil of the sanctuary.

Famous journalist and adventurer, Graham Hancock, researched the history of the Ark. Following exacting research and travels, he pinpoints the location of the Ark to Axum, Ethiopia. He traced the path of the Ark from Jerusalem, to Elephantine Island in the Nile, down south the Nile River, to Tama Kirkos, and then finally to Axum, Ethiopia.

The adventure pilgrimage was amazing and a blessing. But also most amazing is that I had the unique opportunity to meet the Guardian Monk of the Ark. I kissed his Holy Cross, the same Cross that faces the Ark daily. The Guardian Monk of the Ark is a holy monk of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the only person that can see the Ark. No one else in the world can see the Ark. This Guardian Monk – once selected to oversee the Ark – cannot leave the grounds of St Mary of Zion Church. He is forever to stay at the church.


4 responses

  1. Hi George:

    I’m interested to know what it is about these relics of history you find so compelling. The Arc of the Covenant is one of those mysteries so many books have been written about. Everyone has things, hobbies, interests they’re fascinated with. We’re all a little different. What is inside you that you love searching out these relics?

    I’ve had some nice travels – there’s so much more I want to see and do. That’s for your blog.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:10 am

    • Hello Denise: I hope all is fine with you and your family. I am doing fine and still in Africa. Just to drop you a note that finaly I have completed my communiqués in my website – adventure trips to see the Holy Grail in Valencia, Spain and the Holy Sudarium in Oviedo, Spain. Talking about writer’s block!! I hope you have great holidays with your family and a great new year in 2011. Respectfully, George

      December 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm

  2. Hello Denise:
    Thank you for your comments. You have asked an excellent question. Since I was a kid, I always thought of engaging on a quest. Like going to far away places and seek the Holy Grail and similar adventures. That is why I enjoy reading and re-reading Don Quixote throughout my life – to be always on a quest. I just returned from Manoppello, Italy, where the Veil of Veronica is kept at a mountain monastery. In about two months I will visit Oviedo, Spain for an adventure pilgrimage to see the Holy Sudarium of Jesus and then on to Valencia, Spain to see the Holy Grail. Most people are not aware of these holy relics. The Holy Sudarium is exposed only once a year on 14 September and the Holy Grail is exposed all year round. By the way, I enjoyed visiting your great website. You have done an excellent job with your website. I will be glad to answer any other questions! George

    July 22, 2010 at 11:48 am

  3. Thanks, George. I’m looking forward to reading more about your travels. Thanks also for your kind words about my blog. I’m in the “baby steps” phase when it comes to really getting out there and having adventures. So much more in life that must be taken care of when you’re a little older. Actually my blog is undergoing a makeover right now. Should be done and looking much better by mid-August. You can’t rush greatness!! *smile*

    July 29, 2010 at 2:40 am

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