Our Bible Garden encloses five gardens
Christian tradition sees in the book of the Song of Songs a representation of the love of Christ for his Church. Ephesians 5:25.
This garden will have aromatic and medicinal plants.
2. The Vineyard
The grape, being one of the important fruits of the Holy Land recurs throughout the Bible. It is first found in the story of Noah (Gen 9:20); it was one of the fruits brought back to Moses to show the fertility of the Promised Land (Num 13:21-24); the prophets use it as a symbol of the people of Israel (Is 5:1-7); the psalmist praises the fruit of the vine which “gladdens the heart of man” (107) and Jesus speaks of himself as the Vine (Jn 15:1-6).
Our vine garden is near the garden of Calvary symbolizing Christ shedding his blood for humanity. Our garden will also feature a pillared walkway with a vine awning and this will provide shade and fruit.
“I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
Bears fruit in plenty .” John 15:5
3. The Garden of Olives and Gethsemane
The olive was cultivated extensively not only for its fruit but as oil for cooking and for medical and cosmetic purposes. Oil presses were sometimes located among the groves of olives and so gave the name to a place, such as the Garden of Gethsemane which means “The garden of the oil press”.
The Garden of Gethsemane “is one of the most venerable sites of Christianity, anyone who spends time here is confronted with one of the most dramatic moments in the mystery of our Saviour: it was here that Jesus experienced that final loneliness, the whole anguish of the human condition. Here the abyss of sin and evil penetrated deep within his soul. Here he was to quake with foreboding before his imminent death. Here he was kissed by the betrayer. Here he was abandoned by all his disciples. Here he wrestled with his destiny for my sake.” Pope Benedict XVI.
Christ went to the most neglected part of this garden, surrounded by thorn bushes, wild rose bushes, olives and rocks. This section will feature all of these in our garden. According to the visions of Blessed Anna Catherina Emerick, Christ prayed in the place where Adam and Eve found themselves when expelled from the Garden of Eden.
4. Garden of Calvary
The cross of Jesus Christ symbolizes the tree of life in the garden of paradise. Thanks to the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, death has been overcome. The gift of immortality which our first parents lost in the Garden of Eden is now restored to all humanity.
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Five different pathways led to the summit of Calvary Hill where Christ died. By Divine Providence, according to Blessed Anna Catherina Emmerick, the five pathways symbolize the five wounds Jesus suffered on the cross. And we have recreated these five pathways on the Calvary Hill in our garden. Red flowers and shrubs on Calvary Hill signify the blood which Christ shed for all humanity. And thorn bushes symbolize the crown of thorns placed on Christ’s head.
5. Resurrection Garden
The body of Christ is the seed of new life for humanity. His body is placed in the tomb like the mustard seed was planted in the garden. It grew and became a great tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches (Luke 13:9). The gift of immortality planted in the garden has now become a great tree with branches in all parts of the world, allowing us to enter paradise once more.
The main feature, the tomb, has been copied from a 1st century garden tomb and is typical of the burial places used at that time- a small entrance area leading into the main chamber containing a stone slab for the body.
“At the place where he had been crucified
there was a garden, and in the garden a
new tomb in which no one had yet been
buried. Since it was the Jewish Day of
Preparation and the tomb was nearby, they
laid Jesus there.” (Jn. 19:42)
Our Bible Garden will serve many purposes, it will be a place of recreation for our residents, staff and visitors.