BETANIA HOUSE

Menderes Caddesi N. 38 (PK 19)

50240 Uçhisar / Nevşehir

Tel : 0384 2192531

Sixteen centuries ago, in Cappadocia, Christianity was living its golden moment. The end of persecution, the passage first from religio illicita to licita and then to an official religion of the Empire, and the escalation of theological reflection (following the spread of various heresies) all contributed to the IV century as an era of change. During this period in the Orient, Anatolia was one of the founders of monasticism, and many holy and cultural luminaries were accounted for there, it was also the seat of prestigious schools, and extolled its innovative pastoral and humanitarian       practices. In that region, Cappadocia stood out both for its enchanting, natural beauty and the greatness of its theologists. Cappadocia is the birthplace of some of the most important Fathers of the Church: Basilio di Cesarea, his brother Gregorio di Nissa, and Gregorio di Naziano; all had a crucial role in the theological elaboration of the figure of the Holy Spirit. Not of less importance, there was also a surprising number of hermits, monks and missionaries, for example the young Sisinio, Martirio and Alessandro, who were called upon to evangelize the valleys of Trentino and were later massacred in Val di Non. But the evangelization had already begun and the three became the patron saints of Trentino!

On the 1600th anniversary of the martyrdom of these three young missionaries, the Archbishop of Trento wished to express gratitude from the Trentino church to the Anatolian church, and opened a church in Cappadocia at Uchisar, a small community of prayer. The declared intention of this gesture was to reestablish a bond with the land from which Trentino had received the gift of the Gospel. Three from Trentino were transferred to “the land of fine horses” – this is the meaning of the antique Persian word “Cappadocia” – famous for its characteristic fairy chimneys and a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims from all over the world. The brothers of the St. Valentine fraternity in Ala (TN) chose to live in Uchisar for nine months of the year, conducting a simple monastic lifestyle comprised of prayer, manual labor, and conversation with neighbors and visiting pilgrims.

Today, after twenty-two years and diminished numbers, the brothers of St. Valentine no longer insure their presence there.

The Bishop of Anatolia is searching for people to continue this wonderful presence in this magical landscape – recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A land steeped in prayer and permeated with spirituality, it is the reason why many people, from varied religions, travel there in search of contemplative silence.

From March to October there is a steady stream of pilgrims – individuals and groups – asking for a chapel where they can unite in prayer and celebrate the Eucharist.