- Ministry of Tourism,
Damascus (Maalula) - The right-hand branch of the road at the foot of the town leads
up the slope; a stream gushes down a cleft at our feet and ahead there is good close view
of the jumbled pile of houses. The imposing building to the right, at the foot of the
cliffs, is another convent, dedicated this time to Saint Thecla, Mar Takla, a native
of Asia Minor. Deeply moved by Saint Paulís epistles, Mar Takla converted to Christianity.
Disowned by her father, she went into exile and found asylum in Syria where she lived
a mountain cavern in the Qalamoun mountain. She devoted her life to prayer and to others,
which won her the respect, admiration and gratitude of the regionís rural inhabitants.
When she died, the cavern became a holy place. Today it is open to tourists.
A series of steps and terraces leads to the various levels of the building and to a modern
domed church of no artistic interest; from there we can reach a grotto where the water
dripping from the roof is said to possess miraculous powers.