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Emmaus El-Qubeibeh


Convent & Sanctuary of Emmaus El-Qubeibeh




Terra Sancta
Palestinian Territories


Tel: +970. 2247.36.12
+970. 2 247.36.13 (nuns)
Fax: +970. 2 247.36.14


Opening hours of the Sanctuary
Summer: 8.00-12.00, 14.00-18.00
Winter: 8.00-12.00, 14.00-17.00


The Activity of the Custody of the Holy Land in Emmaus

From the point of view of the landscape, El-Qubeibeh is one of the most beautiful and healthy places of Palestine, located at 780 meters above sea level, between hills and olive groves.


Here the Gospel setsone of its most fascinating stories, full of meaning and spiritual salvation: that of the “Disciples of Emmaus” (Lk 24,13-35). According to tradition, the village of El-Qubeibeh, just 11 kilometers north west of Jerusalem, is identified as the Emmaus of the Gospel, because of the coincidence of the distance with the one indicated in the text. This place is particularly dear to the Custody of the Holy Land that received it as a gift in 1861: a seminar (now closed) was built on the premesis. Here, the Italian friars were also interned during the Second World War. And since the Friars of the Holy Land have a strong passion and a professional inclination for archeology, during the period of their internment, they began to dig, finding “traces of settlement from the Hellenistic period to the Byzantine Empire, and then also from the time of the Redeemer, pre-crusaders houses and a beautiful monumental complex from the time of the Crusaders, considered one of the most distinctive examples of crusader colonies in Palestine” (Fr. Bellarmine Baghatti).


Today, the village of Emmaus counts more than 3,000 inhabitants and it falls under the administration the Palestinian National Authority, being part of the governorate of Jerusalem / Abu Dis. Due to the political instability of the region, the roads and access points to the village change from year to year bringing about the isolation of the Franciscan Monastery and of the Sanctuary, which until recently were a regular stop for pilgrimages to the Holy Land. That is why we really wanted to include Emmaus El-Qubeibeh in the program of the Terra Sancta Organ Festival right from the first edition, as an act of solidarity with the monks and nuns who live there permanently and to remind everyone of the beauty and dignity of this place. The Christian community of El-Qubeibeh is formed by a single Palestinian family, by the Friars Minor of the Custody, by the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo [Deutsch: Borromäerinnen; Inglese: Sister of Saint Charles Borromeo), by the Salvatorian Sisters [Deutsch: Salvatorianerinnen; Inglese: Salvatorian Sisters] and the Missionary Srs. of the Catechism [Eng: Missionary Srs. of the Catechism], currently around twenty people from different countries (Palestine, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Mexico, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, France).


The Monastery and Sanctuary of Emmaus

According to tradition, the sanctuary preserves the remains of the house of Cleophas, the disciple who hosted Jesus resurrected on Easter eve. The interior of the building is enhanced by a stylish multi-colored marble floor and by beautiful stained glass windows built be the Bayer-Zeller Company of Monaco. A painting by Joseph Jacks and a group of statues behind the altar evoke the Gospel story.


The present church was rebuilt on the ruins of the ancient sanctuary and consecrated in 1902 by the Cardinal of Milan Andrea Carlo Ferrari, the first Italian cardinal to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and, in addition, at the head of a large group of 210 pilgrims. A similar number of people flock to the Church of Emmaus every year on Easter Monday, when the Custos of the Holy Land goes there for the official pilgrimage along with his brothers and the parish of Jerusalem. At the end of the Pontifical Mass, the Custos distributes to the faithful the bread in remembrance of the blessed bread broken by Jesus in the Gospel story.


Then, for the rest of the year, silence reigns on the sanctuary: this, however, becomes a benefit for those who come here for retreats. The Franciscans continue to keep open the sanctuary despite the few pilgrims who come, assisted by the Sisters of the Catechism, which also run a kindergarten. The relationship with the local population is good, helped by the fact that the friars speak Arabic: although they are all Muslims, families send their children to the kindergarten of the nuns while the youngsters go play football on the field of the friars.


The Organ of the Church of Emmaus





The organ of Emmaus was built by the Italian firm “Inzoli cav. Pacifico di F.lli Bonizzi” in 1994. A little painting was made to honor the benefactors:

“Singing the praises of Jesus, Maria Bertilla and other benefactors donate to the sanctuary of Emmaus thanks to the interest of Fr. Giuseppe Cisternino.”

The instrument has a height of 310 cm, a depth of 66 cm and a width of 183 cm.



Mechanical action organ.

Keyboard 54 keys (C1 – F5) with diatonic keys in boxwood and chromatic keys in ebony.

Pedal board: lectern style with 13 pedals (C1 – C2) constantly linked to the keyboard



Principale 8’ Bassi
Principale 8’ Soprani
Ottava Bassi 4’
Ottava Soprani 4’
Quintadecima Bassi 2’
Quintadecima Soprani 2’
Decimanona 1’1/3
Vigesimaseconda 1’
Flauto in XII Soprani 2’2/3


Keys dividing Bass and Treble (Bassi / Soprani): B2 – C3




Terra Sancta Organ Festival