Near the Sheep-gate in Jerusalem was the Bethesda pool believed to possess remarkable healing properties. The name means the House of mercy or house of grace. It seems to have formed part of the deep fosse round the tower of Antonia and bubbles up at irregular intervals sometimes 2 or 3 times a day, and in summer once in 2 or 3 days. The invalids waited their turn to step into the mysteriously troubled waters and bathe in the power of its healing virtue. Sufferers from blindness, lameness, and atrophy waited to take advantage of the bubbling and gushing of the water, which was when its medicinal properties were at their highest. St. John attributed the healing qualities of the water to the descent of an angel who troubled the pool.

Bethesda was a spring-fed pool with five porches. Here Jesus healed the man who had been lame for 38 years. You may find it below the crypt of the ruined 4th century church which has five-arched porticos with faded frescoes of the miracle.
[309, BD]

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