Rubus sanctus

Holy bramble                                                                                                     Βάτος

Rosaceae - rose family                                                                                        Dicot.


 As in many other locations on earth, the long curved prickly branches of bramble are widespread on Skopelos growing in a variety of habitats, as an undershrub in forest and macchie, in phrygana, on field edges and covering large areas of wasteland.  Brambles grow on every continent except Antarctica but a variety does grow in the arctic region, Rubus arcticus, a rare and threatened species.

The species growing in Skopelos is Rubus sancta, the holy bramble, which is endemic to the eastern Mediterranean. The flowers vary from pale to dark pink, followed by blackberries


Sanctus Rubus - the Holy Bramble

According to the Bible, Moses, while attending his flocks on the Mountain of God, Jebel Musa, was addressed by the Angel of The Lord, whose voice came from the centre of a burning bush .

"And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. "He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed." (Exodus 3.2).

A mountain on the Sinai peninsula was identified by the Byzantine Emperor, Constantine The Great as site of Jebel Musa in a mystical dream. His mother, Queen Helena confirmed this by visiting the site where she found a bush, the holy bramble, Rubus  sancta and built a chapel, known as the Chapel of the Burning Bush. The chapel was later surrounded by St. Catherine's Monastery.

The plant has survived to this day and is visited by many pilgrims.

There are no archaeological or scientific facts to confirm this location as Jebel Musa  or the plant as the burning bush.

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