The Orthodox Monastery of St. Tekla, in the Syrian town of Maalula, will soon be open again to the visits of pilgrims and tourists, according to Fides News Agency. In fact, reconstruction work on the monastery is nearing completion. Maaloula was freed from militants in 2014, after which the restoration of the town and monastery began.
As reported by Fides, an important contribution to the reconstruction of St. Tekla came from the Russian veterans organizations “Boevoe Bratstvo” (Brothers in Arms). Russian media report that the nuns have already returned to the monastery, 90% of the reconstruction is already done, and that the reconstruction will be completed in the coming weeks.
Maalula, 55 km northeast of Damascus, known throughout the world as one of the places where Aramaic is still spoken, the language of Jesus, houses both the monastery of St. Tekla and the sanctuary dedicated to Saints Sergius and Bacchus , which belongs to the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church. On December 3, 2013, 13 Greek Orthodox nuns from St. Tekla were kidnapped from the monastery, along with three of their collaborators. The kidnapping ended happily on Sunday, March 9, 2014, when the nuns and the three collaborators were freed in Lebanese territory. The liberation also occurred thanks to the mediation of the Lebanese and Qatar intelligence apparatus.