When the King of Israel Haile Selassie I went to Jerusalem!
Scanned above, you can see the ancient page from the May 9, 1936 edition of the Daily Herald. ‘Sanctuary for the Lion of Judah‘ is H.V. Morton’s tale of ‘the Emperor of Ethiopia (Abyssinia) seeking a temporary refuge among the Ethiopian (Abyssinian) Hebrew Community in Jerusalem’ dating back from the time of King Solomon. What’s all this about then?
Haile Selassie Calls at Jerusalem After Italy Invades Ethiopia
The Lion of Judah arrives in Judah by train, May 1936
Haile Selassie is the most obvious name here. The Emperor of Ethiopia (Abyssinia) from 1930 to 1974? Heir to a dynasty tracing his roots back to the Great King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Today, he is popularly known by many as the Great Meri (Leader) Messiah to Rastafarians at home and abroad, who take their name from his – Ras (Head) and Tafari (his original first name).
He had been the head of state of a country that had been targetted by expansionist Italy under Mussolini, who was keen to avenge the failures of Italian colonialism that Il Duce viewed as an embarrassment.
JERUSALEM Emperor Attends Ethiopian Church Mass 1936
In 1936, Italian forces had finally completed the takeover of Ethiopia, forcing Emperor Haile Selassie I into exile. Though his eventual destination was Fairfield House in Bath, England, his first stop on leaving Africa from Djibouti was to Jerusalem, then under the rule of the British Mandate.
Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia and Princess in Jerusalem
Emperor Haile Selassie I did not literally seek sanctuary with the monks, as the Ethiopian Royal Family had a house in the city, but his visit was a symbolic one and helped to keep his profile high and question which of the two nations involved in the conflict was the barbarous one in need of civilizing. And under five years later he was back as Emperor in Addis Ababa the Capital of Ethiopia following the defeat of Italian forces.
May 5, 1941 - Ethiopian Patriots' Day | የኢትዮጵያ የአርበኞች ቀን
And what about the Ethiopian (Abyssinian) Monks, worshipping in a tent on the roof of the Holy Sepulcher?
Well... They are still there, as they have been for Millenia.
Ethiopian Monastery And Church Of The Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel
The Ethiopian Church - Part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel - Quick Tour
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