Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Eleutheropolis

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

A titular see in Palaestina Prima. The former name of this city seems to have been Beth Gabra, "the house of the strong men", which later became Beît Djibrîn, "the house of Gabriel". Vespasian slaughtered almost all its inhabitants, according to Josephus, De Bell. Jud., IV., viii, 1, where its name is written Betaris. In A.D. 200 Septimius Severus, on his Syrian journey changed its name to Eleutheropolis, and it soon became one of the most important cities of Judea. Its special era, which figures on its coins and in many inscriptions, began 1 January, A.D. 200. (See Echos d'Orient, 1903, 310 sq.; 1904,215 sq.) Its first known bishop is Macrinus (325);five others are mentioned in the fourth and two in the sixth century ( Lequien, Or. Christ., III, 631). In 393, during the episcopate of Zebennus, the relics of the Prophets Habakuk and Micah were found at Ceila and Tell Zakariya near Eleutheropolis ( Sozomen, H.E., VII, xxix). At Eleutheropolis was born St. Epiphanius , the celebrated bishop of Salamis in Cyprus ; at Ad in the neighbourhood he established a monastery which is often mentioned in the polemics of St. Jerome with Rufinus and John, Bishop of Jerusalem. The city was, moreover, an important monastic centre at least till the coming of the Arabs. The latter beheaded (638) at Eleutheropolis fifty soldiers of the garrison of Gaza who had refused to apostatize. They were buried in a church built in their honour. (See Anal. Bolland., 1904, 289 sq., and Echos d'Orient, 1905, 40 sq.) The city was destroyed by the Mussulmans in 796 in the civil wars. The Crusaders erected there a fortress, in 1134, under Fulco of Anjou; the Knights of St. John, to whom it was committed, restored at this time the beautiful Byzantine church at Sandahanna. The citadel was taken in 1187 by Saladin, conquered in 1191 by Richard Lion Heart, destroyed in 1264 by Sultan Bibars, and rebuilt in 1551 by the Turks. Today Beît Djibrîn is a village with about 1000 Mussulman inhabitants, on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, in a fertile and very healthy region. The medieval fortress still stand, about 180 feet square; there are also remains of the walls, ruins of a cloister, and of a medieval church. In the neighbourhood are remarkable grottoes, which filled St. Jerome with wonderment. Some of these grottoes were used in early Christian times as places of worship; others bear Arabic inscriptions.


Shop Catholic - Buy One Get One 50% OFF

Mix and match any of these bestselling products and enjoy 50% off the second item!

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.


Act of Contrition PDF

Free Catholic Educational PDF Downloads and Resources

PDF educational resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers and it’s 100% FREE. How to Pray the Rosary, Hail Mary, Our Father, Saints, Prayers, Coloring Books, Novenas, Espanol and more. All FREE to download and faithful to the Magisterium. Download Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.