En Route to the Pool of Bethesda, Lavigerie

November 18, 2014

On the north end of Jerusalem one can see the ruins of the pool(s) of Bethesda, mentioned in John 5 as the location where Jesus healed a lame man. That was one of seven miracles recorded by divine selection in the Gospel of John to provide reasons for believing in Jesus, evidences for faith in Him as the Christ, the Son of God (John 20:30-31).

While my group was visiting Israel last year, I photographed a statue of Lavigerie, located close by the pools.

Lavigerie in Jerusalem, near Pool of Bethesda. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Lavigerie in Jerusalem, near Pool of Bethesda. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

I will acknowledge that the name Charles Martial Allemand Lavigerie is not one I was familiar with. But sometimes you shoot (photograph!) first and ask questions later.

The Dictionary of African Christian Biography relates this info regarding Lavigerie (1825-1892):

Cardinal Archbishop of Algiers and Carthage, Primate of Africa, missionary founder and anti-slavery campaigner, was born near Bayonne in the Basque region of southern France. After his schooling, he studied theology at Saint Sulpice in Paris. In 1854, after priestly ordination and further studies, he was appointed professor of church history in the university of the Sorbonne, Paris. In 1860, as director of the work for oriental schools, he travelled to Lebanon and Syria to administer relief to Christians there, following the massacre by the Druses. . .

In 1863 he was appointed Bishop of Nancy, France and was placed in line for the important archiepiscopal see of Lyons. However, he declined this prestigious appointment, and asked instead for the colonial see of Algiers, to which he was appointed archbishop in 1867. Algeria had become a French colony in 1830, and under Napoleon III was designated an “Arab Kingdom.” . . .

From 1878 his missionaries established themselves in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa and, after his death, in the French territories of West Africa. Created a Cardinal in 1882, Lavigerie revived the ancient see of Carthage, with the title Primate of Africa, when the French annexed Tunisia. Throughout 1888 Lavigerie conducted a personal campaign against slavery in the capitals of Europe. In this campaign he made known the heart-rending experiences of slavery witnessed by his missionaries in equatorial Africa. The campaign resulted in the anti-slavery conferences of Brussels and Paris. . .

Click image for larger view.


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