Miskaye Hizunan Medehanialem Monastery

May 04, 2022

Emperor Lebna Dengel and his successors who ruled during the reign of Gragn Ahmad in the 16th century in Ethiopia, seized to provide donation to the Churches established in the Holy Land. Lacking materials and food, they entrusted half of the monasteries to Armenians and Greeks and the rest fled to Europe.

Years later when they returned they were unable to find all and now they are carrying on the remaining treasures. After the victory of Gragn, the monarchy which had a single monarchy and continued to rule under the rule of the emperors but still could not get enough help, received supplies from the Armenian and Greek monasteries. After the invasion of Gragn Ahmad until the reign of Emperor John and Menelik, most of the Greek, Armenian, and Egyptian churches took over the monasteries in Jerusalem; Emperor Menelik II and his wife, Empress Etege Taytu, who ruled in the 19th century, with a view to earning a living once and for all bought and leased land for the construction of a building in Jerusalem and another two-story building in 1993. When Emperor Menelik II bought a building for the monasteries of Jerusalem there was no transportation at that time, so they traveled as far as Djibouti and then to Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant has been consecrated and honored at Der Sultan Medhane Alem Monastery (King’s Monastery) for two years. His Majesty Haile Selassie I traveled by train to Djibouti on Saturday, on May 2, 1936, when Italy invaded Ethiopia to avenge its defeat. The British left Djibouti on and arrived in the Holy Land. On June, 1936 he boarded a British warship and sailed from Jerusalem to England at the port of Hampton, south of London, to the port of London.

After a few days, he spoke at a meeting of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, detailing the atrocities being committed by the Italian government against our country and people. However, he was disappointed that the League of Nations did not take any action.

In desperation, the king turned his attention to the God of his ancestors, urging them to fast and pray and to protect children from religious persecution. With the permission of His Holiness Gebre Giorgis, the Ark of the Covenant, which had previously been sent by Emperor Menelik II to the Jerusalem Der Sultan Monastery, was sent from Jerusalem to England. In the same year, the Ark of the Covenant was named Der Sultan Medhanialem, and he was sent to Jerusalem by a monk named Fekade Egziabher, who lived in Der Sultan Monastery for 30 years. On January, 1929 Abba Hannah sent Hanna Jimmama from England to Jerusalem; Abba Hannah Jimmama returned to England with four other monks (Master Gebre Jesus, Abba Markos, Abba Haile Buruk and Abba Gebre Mariam).

The tablet was placed at the King’s residence on May 5, 1937. Arriving at Baz, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated. In this house the refugees are performing the rituals of prayer and communion; It has always been a place of learning and comfort, It was renamed the “Ethiopian Orthodox Incarnation Church in Exile.” When Italy sided with Germany in World War II, Britain decided to support Emperor Haile Selassie. On June 19, 1940 he took the king to Egypt and then to Sudan. She began preparations for the liberation war in Ethiopia. Many Sudanese refugees from Ethiopia, as well as others arrived in Khartoum with the necessary weapons, exercises and preparations, and entered war Ethiopia with British. Emperor Haile Selassie arrived in Sudan seven months on January 21, 1941after his arrival. They entered the Ethiopian territory from Sudan and hoisted the Ethiopian flag on Omedla. They then made their way to Debre Markos, Gojjam, in the center of the country ( 1st of May, 1941) and hoisted their flag at their palace in Addis Ababa. The day the exiled Ark Medhane Alem on August 29, 1933, returned to Addis Ababa. Abba Haile Buruk returned with the Ark and studied and waited at the present day Sidest Kilo University Prayer Hall at Genet Prince Palace. For the comfort of the afflicted the consolation of the sick, it was named as “Meskaye Hizunan Medhanialem Monastery” and erected on May 5, 1943 at the former Bethsaida  Haile Selassie I Hospital (now known as the Yekatit 12).

Sick people were healed by praying and their number was gradually increasing both from near and far. So the Divine Liturgy was performed in Amharic to attract more people for they could develop love for the service under the leadership of Abba Hannah and Abba Haile Buruk, other ministers. This caused quite a stir among the church fathers, both inside and outside the church, as the language of the church was Geez.

Five years later, on May 5, 1948, he laid the foundation stone for the construction of the church on its current location. When the venue was chosen, it took into account the local schools (Teferi Menenen, Empress Menen, Haile Selassie I University (now Addis Ababa University) and after two years of rapid construction, the building was completed on May 4. Divine Liturgy was celebrated at his house on the eve of April 5, the blessing of the church and the hours of prayer was  held from midnight until 12 am (Local time) . The ark left the courtyard of Bethsaida Hospital (February 19) and entered the church building. The ceremony began at 12 O clock when Emperor Haile Selassie arrived with Empress Menen and the royal family and a large crowd gathered. The Divine Liturgy was presided over by His Holiness Abune Basilios, Abune Theophilus, and Abune Timothy.

After the Divine Liturgy, Abba Hanna, the administrator of the monastery, delivered a 15 minutes sermon on the migration and return of the Ark and sang the Ethiopian national anthem. Finally, with the blessing of the Blessed Sacrament, the Ark of the Covenant was completed and the ceremony ended. Sacred paintings of the church (monastery); Eight years after the church was inaugurated, it was painted by a foreign artist from 1958- 1962

The monastery does not stand still like the great monasteries; The sound of drums and cymbals does not sound. The Ark was to be replenished only once a year. It is a monastery where Emperor Menelik II sent the Ark of the Covenant to the Holy Land, where he returned to our homeland as a consolation to many in England and still continues to be a role model for other churches.

We must pray for our Lord Jesus Christ to protect us and our monasteries! May we always pray for His blessings and goodness to visit our country! Good medicine comforts all our oppressed, displaced, and abused people!