Leaving Beit Sahour, a road brings you to the imposing Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Theodosius in al-Ubediyeh (10 km, 6 miles). It is the largest and most highly organized of the monasteries. According to tradition, the three Wise Men took shelter in a cave here after ‘they were warned by God in a dream that they should not return to Herod; they departed into their country by another way. (Matt. 2:12)
St. Theodosius, born in Cappadocia in 423 AD, came to the cave where the Wise Men had stayed the night they left Bethlehem, and established the monastery in 476 AD It became the most populated convent, with 693 monks, and was well-known for its work with the sick, the elderly and the mentally impaired. It contained four churches and the services were given in four languages: Greek, Georgian, Armenian and Slavic. Much of the monastery was destroyed in 808 AD and the monks were forced to abandon it.
The present monastery was constructed by the Greek Orthodox Church at the turn of the century on the ruins of the Byzantine complex and incorporates the remains of an old Crusader building. The present church was completed in 1952. Around the church, the remains of mosaic pavements, broken columns and capitals can be seen, but the greater part of the remains are underground. From the monastery of St. Theodosius, a good road (leading downhill on the left) goes back to Jerusalem through Abu Deis. The road that runs straight along the mountain spine leads to the monastery of St. Sabas.