CHORA MUSEUM

MOSAICS DEPICTING THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST

Miracles at the Wedding in Cana:The mosaic depiction in the middle of the vault above the main entrance has not completely survived. Only a part of the banquet at the wedding is visible. In the other preserved mosaics, the first miracles of Jesus are depicted. The sacrifice of a bull and the filling of water into the jars are seen in those in the north, and the empty and filled baskets of bread are seen in those in the south.

Augmentation of Wine:In this scene about the transformation of water into wine, the first miracle of Jesus before people, Jesus, his mother Virgin Mary and the apostles go to a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Mary hears that the host run out of wine, and say Jesus that they have no more wine. Jesus requests the servants at the wedding to fill the six water jars in the house with water, and then to pour his glass of wine into the jars filled with water. Then, he requests them to draw some of the water that had been transformed into wine and to take it to the governor who was present at the wedding. When the governor drinks the glass full of wine, he says the bride and groom that this was the best wine at the wedding, and asks why they did save this wine, instead of offering it. He requests the servants to distribute everyone at the wedding this wine. After this miraculous event, everyone at the wedding believes in Jesus Christ. In the scene, one of the servants is pouring water into one of the jars, a servant on the right side is approaching with an amphora he is carrying on his shoulder, the governor is holding the wine glass, and there are Virgin Mary and two of the apostles next to Jesus.

Augmentation of Breads:In this scene on the southeast part of the vault where empty baskets of bread are seen, Jesus requests two persons to give the breads they brought to him. As he knows that other people have no food, he breaks these breads, gives them to those next to him, and requests everyone to do the same. 

Augmentation of Breads: In the scene on the southeast pendentive of the vault, the filling of the twelve baskets of bread and the feeding of five thousand people is depicted.

Miracles of Jesus Christ, leper (Outer narthex):On the first vault where the whole scene is destroyed, Jesus is depicted walking on the water, and the foot of a leper is seen in the east part of the vault.

Paralytic at Capernaum (Outer narthex):Most of the mosaics on the first vault in the south have not survived. In this section, there is a decorative medallion in the middle, and south of it, Jesus’ healing a paralytic lying on a mat at Capernaum is depicted. When Jesus returned to Capernaum for the Sabbath, people heard that he was staying at Saint Peter the Apostle’s house, and they rushed into this place. However, a paralytic who was unable to walk alone was brought by four persons on a mat carried by four men. In the scene, the four men are seen next to the head of the paralytic, and Saint Peter and others next to Jesus. The inscriptions on the scene reads, “Jesus in the pool of sheep is raising the paralytic with his words”, and, “Your sins are forgiven”. Next to this scene is a mosaic depiction that has not survived as a whole and the inscription on it reads, “Jesus heals the dropsical man”.

In the scene on the northeast pendentive of the same vault, Jesus sees the faith of a paralytic who is praying, and says that his sins were forgiven. However, as he feels that some priests were thinking that sins could only be forgiven by God, Jesus requests the paralytic to get up and to go to his own taking his mat. When the paralytic stood up and took his mat, everyone was amazed and gave praise to God.

Samaritan Woman (Outer narthex):On the northwest corner of the vault, Jesus and a Samaritan woman are seen at a well. (While Jesus was sitting next to a well alone, since the apostles had gone to buy food, a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water.) When Jesus asked for a drink, the woman said him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water”. “Sir”, the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life”. When the woman said, “I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us”, Jesus declared that he was the Messiah. The inscription on this scene reads, “Jesus Talks with a Samaritan Woman”.

Christ Healing a Blind and Dumb (Inner narthex):On the southeast pendentive of the dome, Saint Peter the Apostle is standing next to Jesus. Jesus is depicted healing the blind and dumb standing before him. The inscription here reads, “Christ healing a blind and dumb man”.

Christ Healing Two Blind Men (Inner narthex):On the northwest pendentive of the dome, Saint Peter the Apostle is standing next to Jesus. In the scene, Jesus is healing two blind men sitting under trees. The inscription reads, “Christ healing two blind men”.

Healing Peter’s Mother-in-Law (Inner narthex):In the scene on the northeast pendentive of the dome, Jesus is healing Peter the Apostle’s mother-in-law, who is lying on a bed. Peter the Apostle is seen before Jesus, and the other apostles behind him. The inscription here reads, “Christ healing Peter’s mother-in-law”.

Woman with the Issue of Blood (Inner narthex):In the scene on the southeast pendentive of the dome, the woman who is bleeding for many years is healed when she touches Christ’s cloak. They are in an open field, and architectural structures and a group of believers are seen around them. The inscription reads, “Christ healing the woman with the issue of blood”.

Healing the Young Man with a Withered Arm (Inner narthex): In the depiction on the east side of the arch, a patient with a withered arm extends his arm toward Jesus and asks for healing. When Jesus enters into the synagogue, he saw a men whose right hand was withered, and he addressed the crowd in the synagogue. When Jesus asked the congregation whether it was permitted to do good or bad, to save or destroy life on the Sabbath, they all remained silent. Then, Jesus asked the man with a withered right hand to extend his arm, and healed him. The inscription on the scene reads, “Christ healing the patient with a withered arm”.

Healing a Leper (Inner narthex):The mosaic depiction on the west side of the arch is partially destroyed. Here, a leper is asking Jesus for healing. When the patient asked Jesus to heal him, Jesus healed the patient with leprosy by touching him. The leper stands in front of an architectural structure, he wears only a laincloth and a part of his body is uncovered, and the spots indicate that he is a leper. The upper parts of the body of Jesus and the bodies of the apostles behind him have not survived. The inscription on the scene reads, “Christ healing the leper”

Christ Calling Zacchaeus:Zacchaeus, who had been earning money by taking bribes, climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see Jesus better. Jesus, who noticed Zacchaeus despite the crowd called him and forgave his sins. On the other hand, Zacchaeus gave half of his possessions to the poor, and served the religion.

Christ Healing the Handicapped (Inner narthex):In the scene on the west lunette of the southern section of the inner narthex, Jesus is depicted on the left side with three apostles next to him, and there are a group of men, women and children, some of which are sitting, before Jesus. Here, Jesus is healing a large group. One of the inscriptions reads, “Christ healing a multitude”, whereas the rest of the inscription beginning with the expression “Christ healing...” cannot be read.

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