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Mount Mar Danial

We took a trip to Ain-oos-Safrâ about two hours to the south-east of the convent. [Modern day Mount Mar Daniel.] The spring from which the mountain derives its name, is situated on the verge of the plain where its waters are collected into a cistern swarming with small leeches and enormous frogs. This place is held in high veneration by the Yezeedees around, who have here a yearly dance in honour of one of their reputed saints. ... Close by the spring are the ruins of the convent of Mar Gawriel, and on the summit of the mountain we saw he remains of a similar building dedicated to Mar Daniel, both formerly tenanted by Nestorian monks. Once a year divine service is celebrated at the latter place, and the Chaldeans and other Christians who resort thither consider it a miracle that on their first arrival myriads of beetles are seen creeping up the walls and about the ruins which, they say, entirely disappear as soon as the prayers are ended. It is affirmed, and I believe with truth, that the more superstitious regale themselves with a mess of these noisome insects before returning home. Badger 1852, p 99


Badger 1852
Badger, George Percy. 1852. The Nestorians and their Rituals.