Today, pilgrims and tourists daily fill a 45’ x 29.5 ‘Gothic room built in the 14th century to commemorate the descent of the Spirit following Christ’s resurrection. In Catholic tradition the Upper Room is known as the Cenacle, derived from a Latin word for dining and is believed to be the site of the Last Supper and the place where the Apostles gathered and lived. As such, the ancient building that stood in the chapel’s place was the site of many of the most important events in the Gospel, including the washing of the disciples’ feet, the appearance of Christ after His resurrection, and the ratification of Matthias as a replacement for Judas Iscariot (Meagher 232). The Upper Room is hailed as the epicenter of formative Christianity and the worldwide revival that emanated from the initial descent of the Holy Ghost in Acts 2.1-4.
Following the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., it was St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, who went to Jerusalem in an effort to rediscover the ancient Christian landmarks. Under her direction, the Cenacle was purified and consecrated, and masses were said in the small church (Meagher 233). In 350 A.D., the church was restored; and in 390, a large basilica known as Hagia Sion (Holy Zion) was erected nearby (Lussier 332-333). The traditional Upper Room became a cathedral and flourished until 636 A.D., when Jerusalem was overtaken by the Moslem invaders. Omar, cousin of the Mohammed, negotiated with the Jerusalem Christians and allowed them to retain the Cenacle as a church, but the influence of Christianity was stymied by the Moslem occupancy (Meagher 233).
Read the entire article here: Revisiting the Upper Room.
I'm hoping to have the book released sometime early in 2010. You can read a couple of sample chapters here: The Cenacle Scroll.