Maalula is from the Aramaic word, meaning ‘entrance’. With two other nearby towns, Maaloula is the only place where the Aramaic language is still spoken, the dialect Jesus of Nazareth spoke.
Mar Sarkis: One of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria. It was built on the site of a pagan temple, and has elements which go back to the fifth to sixth century Byzantine period. Mar Sarkis is the Arabic name for Saint Sergius, an Roman soldier who was executed for his Christian beliefs. This monastery still maintains its solemn historical character. Mar Sarkis has two of the oldest icons in the world, one depicting the Last Supper.
Mar Takla: This monastery holds the remains of St Taqla. According to later legend not in the Acts, Taqla was being pursued by soldiers of her father to capture her because of her Christian faith. She came upon a mountain, and after praying, the mountain split open and let her escape through. The town gets its name from this gap or entrance in the mountain. However, there are many variations to this story among the residents of Ma’loula.
Following all the tragic incidents that happened in Syria and especially in Maaloula, we wanted to highlight the importance of this beautiful historic village for the Christians as well as a worldwide Religious site. Hoping that we will be able to visit Maaloula in the near future.
That trip was back in 2010.