SALT GOVERNORATE — Climbing up the 50 yellow stairs in the Salt Governorate leads visitors to a small iron gate that opens to what locals believe to be the church of miracles, known as “Al Khader Church”.
Father Marwan Taamneh, the church’s priest, told The Jordan Times in a recent visit that, despite its modest size, Saint George Church has been life changing for many believers, both Christian and Muslim.
He said that the actual church is located in the cave inside, where the whole story started in a cold winter night.
“As-Salt city is a hill town where people used to rely on shepherding along with other animal farms. One winter night, a shepherd took the town’s sheep to one of the caves for shelter from the heavy rain,” said Father Taamneh.
St George is said to have appeared to the shepherd inside the cave that evening, telling him to inform the villagers of the saint’s wish to build a church at “the exact same spot”.
At that time, the cave was 1km long, and 1.5m high, according to Father Taameh who added that “sadly, due to modernisation and the establishment of new buildings, the cave almost completely vanished leaving no less than a big opening in the mountain inside the church.”
“However”, he stressed, “visitors to the church can still see the depth of it from a small opening.”
“This 300-year old church is very special indeed,” Father Taamneh uttered, looking around the church with admiration.
“Not only because of the story of its existence,” he continued, “or the many miraculous healings of difficult diseases, but because it is probably the only place in Jordan where Christians and Muslims pray together.”