The Church of EjersaGoro, Hohet Mesrak Kidane Mheret known as St Kidane Mheret Church that has been built on the burial ground of the Emperor’s umbilical cord, is finally under renovation. In about four months, the Church, inside and outside, will be completely restored.
The cost is estimated to be more than 100,000.00 birr that will be covered by someone wanting to remain an anonymous who said, “I wish I had more, I would have erected His statue as well.”
No doubt when the appropriate time comes the erection of the statue will be materialized with an inscription, “Behold Philistia, and Tyre with Ethiopia , this man was born here” As it has been said, there is a time for everything.
In the rosy times of EjersaGoro, it was a habitat to 300 clergy and was called the town of the ministers. The length and breadth of the church’s land reached further than the naked eye could see. It was one of the richest churches in Ethiopia. The wishes of priests to serve here would be like a dream come true.
That was then, today no priest in EjersaGoro would like to stay more than two years. Even the priest I had the opportunity to introduce to you, Muse Walelenge, left EjersaGoro for another town after serving for barely two years.
According to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, five clergy are the minimum required to conduct Sunday morning mass. In EjersaGoro, it is practical impossible to fulfill this sanctified duty. It considers keeping one priest for more than two years is like God has answered the prayer of the Church.
In Ethiopia having Church without high priests and hermits is like having a library without books on the shelves. High priests and hermits are trained in oral tradition, as well as specializing in verbal art forms such as, miracles of Saints, proverbs, riddles, chants, lyrics, poetry, tales, myths, legends, and chronicles of Kings and Queens going back to time immemorial.
The High priests and hermits, who relinquish ancient wisdom through their enlightening storytelling, have the uncanny ability to share their skillful art form with large crowds, lasting up to several hours, without even a hint of boredom manifesting during the event. Their oral talent, derived from deep roots in the ancient Christian tradition, is passed on from one generation to the next; a system in which memories are everything. Their memories are like the rivers that flow from the Ocean; they stem from a very rich and all-encompassing source.
In EjersaGoro, at the St Kidane Meheret Church, such spiritual individuals are becoming a fading memory. Recovering from such a significant loss will be a struggle for EjersaGoro to overcome; however, there is hope. When the Emperor’s story rises for a second time, the glory of the Church will rises along with it.
The relationship between the Church and the Emperor has always been intertwined with each other. The Emperor’s birth date and the annual St Kidane Meheret celebration fall on the same day. This is one of the primary reasons why the Emperor named the Church after St Kidane Meheret.
In 1974, when the Emperor was detained inside His palace, the last day on the earth, He called upon St Kidane Meheret for justice, similarly to the way He had called upon God during the League of Nations’ betrayal.
According to Eshetu T. Mariam, a special protocol affiliate who was an attendant to the Emperor during his final days, the Emperor pleaded, “My Lady St. Kidane Meheret, you are my witness. If I have not done my best for the good of these people, you be the Judge; and now, I demand justice.” The Emperor delivered this impassioned plea to His Holy St. Kidane Meheret, while collecting the tears from his cheeks with his finger, and then sprinkling them from His finger through the window. Afterward, He meditated deeply for several hours.
Aba Koronchose, hermit, the Bible teacher of Empress Menen, and confessor of the famous Ethiopian Army, who marched in the Korean war, interpreted the Emperor’s demand and said, “The tears of the Emperor, blended with St Kidane Mehrat’s grief, inflicted the country with horrible catastrophes known as the Red and the White terrors; the terrors unlike any the nation has ever seen before, was the judgment of the St. Kidane Meheret,” Aba Koronchose continues by saying:
“The arch enemies of the Emperor were the students and the army. Both have been paid immense price. The students massacred by the army, and later the army routed and killed by a small group of guerilla fighters known as the, TPLF. When St Kidane Meheret punishes she doesn’t raise a stick, but instead uses one assailant group against the other. The students called the Emperor “a thief”, the army overthrew the crown of the Lion of Judah, and the Ethiopia Orthodox Church, which instead of defending the defender of the faith, Haile Selassie, chose to be silent, didn’t they get what they deserve? They all got what they deserved; including the Church.”
It was four years after the Emperor demanded Justice at the League of Nations that Europe flamed with fire. Similarly, in Ethiopia , it was four years after the Emperor demanded justice for His illegal and unrighteous dethroning that Ethiopia caught the flame of the Red and the White terrors. History proves the correctness of the Emperor’s Judgments both in Europe 1940 and in Ethiopia 1978.
Aba Koronchose proficiently has given advice for the remedy of the destructive tide that has flowed through Ethiopia following the wrongdoings against the Emperor. Aba Koronchose proclaims, “If the nation gets on its knees and asks for forgiveness, only then will peace and love prevail, and the church will be united again. Forgiveness is what it takes.”
As we wait for exoneration, let the Rastafarians do the right thing by making the Emperor’s birthplace, the new Bethlehem , a living place for High priests and hermits to once again, tell stories about the Emperor, and His mother and father, to the coming generation. The Church in EjersaGoro should also be the site of an international archive for His chronicles. Many of belongings of the Emperor should go to this Church so they will be available to historians and tourists alike.
Three month ago, August 23, 2010, St. Kidane Meheret exhibited some of the Emperor Haile Selassie’s relics during its centennial. Some special objects and the large gold procession cross were seen for the first time, which is a blessing considering that during the 1978 Somalia invasion and occupation, the entire people of EjersaGoro’s evacuated the area. Most of the church’s belongings were moved to the city of Harrar , except for the Arch of St. Kidane Meheret and the Emperor’s big gold procession cross. A legend puts forth that the two relics are guarded by an invisible Lion. When the entire region of EjersaGoro, including the Church, was looted and pillaged; only these objects remained untouched.
As we are aware, today is the coronation day of HIM. On this significant occasion, the 80th anniversary of the of the Emperor being officiated to the throne of Ethiopia, the Church of St. Kidane Meheret, would like to announce that all houses of Rastafarians, who wish to come for pilgrimage, are welcomed beginning next year, July 23, 2011. This will be the anniversary of the 119 birthday of the Emperor.
With the promise of the coming July 23, 2011 pilgrimage, this will be the first in recognition of HIM, the father of Africa union, who advocated for, and became the champion of, African liberation and the black Diaspora.
The birth of the Emperor is the birth of a new Africa , it is also a birth of the prophecies of Marcus Garvey, and it is indeed the birth of the black consciousness throughout the world.
118 years ago, on July 23, 1892, twelve hours after the Emperor was born, the town criers on horseback galloped in different directions from the city of Harrar, and broke the tranquility of the night by declaring, “Hear me! Hear me! Behold the awaited son is born! Unto us a child is born! Unto us a son is given!” They sped up to the hills and mountains, saying the same words over and over again, until they traveled the whole area. When they returned, the streets of Harrar were flocked with the warriors of Ras Makonnen.
The army was known to be strong as a lion, fast as a cheetah, and merciful to its captive. To get up and dress and to swarm the streets of Harrar took a matter of minutes. The warriors welcomed the newborn future leader with a thousand gun salute. They felt He was the one who would win the next battle against the European colonialist, not only in the battlefield but it also in the field of diplomacy, good over evil, known as the Haile Selassie’s triumph.
After the church bells rang, the warriors’ beating drums followed. The patriots were in their full dress, held shields in one hand and spears in the other, while marching through the gates of Harrar. They sang the worrier’s song that converts the cowardly heart into a Lion’s heart.
The air was filled with joy and the parties in the street lasted for week, until Yeshemebet arrived from EjersaGoro. When she arrived on the Mule back, thousands cheered and threw branches of olive trees at the Harrar gate. Yeshemebet responded to the adoration with a smile. From a distance, Ras Makonnen got off from his horseback and bowed down to welcome his Queen.
Brothers and sisters, when we are celebrating the birth and the coronation of the Emperor, we are also celebrating the mother and the father of the Emperor. The trio is one and inseparable. Let us seize on this living history and expand it to the fullest level by making the first pilgrimage in Africa . On July 23, 2011 let thousands of Rastafarians come to the streets of EjersaGoro.
Please pass this to at least one Rastafarian
Peace and love from EjersaGoro, the new Bethlehem.
Sent to Rasta Ites by Ras Sela,
original sent by Mulugeta Haile.