Thanks to the conviction of Rastafarians, the most relentless advocates of the preservation of the legacy of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Sellassie I whom after his coronation in the s adopted his title of Ras Tafari to proclaim his name and identify them-selves. They consistently praise his name and reign with reference to his lineage as the th descendant in an unbroken line of monarchs to reign from the Solomonic dynasty. And while much may be said about the Ethiopian emperor, except for the religious adoration by women dedicated to the same movement — and a few conscientious men — very little has been documented about his wife, Her Imperial Majesty, Empress Menen Asfaw. Born April 3, she was crowned empress on Nov. Revered as the Mother of the Ethiopian Nation, her indomitable legacy of caring for children and concern for humanitarian needs seem to remain elusive to classrooms here and in many western libraries.
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Thanks to the conviction of Rastafarians, the most relentless advocates of the preservation of the legacy of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Sellassie I whom after his coronation in the s adopted his title of Ras Tafari to proclaim his name and identify them-selves.
They consistently praise his name and reign with reference to his lineage as the th descendant in an unbroken line of monarchs to reign from the Solomonic dynasty. And while much may be said about the Ethiopian emperor, except for the religious adoration by women dedicated to the same movement — and a few conscientious men — very little has been documented about his wife, Her Imperial Majesty, Empress Menen Asfaw.
Born April 3, she was crowned empress on Nov. Revered as the Mother of the Ethiopian Nation, her indomitable legacy of caring for children and concern for humanitarian needs seem to remain elusive to classrooms here and in many western libraries. Fact is she established childcare centers and handicraft schools as well as the Empress Menen School for Girls in Addis Ababa.
The latter was the first all-girls school in Ethiopia and one that accommodated day and boarding students. During the Italian Invasion of , she assumed the administrative responsibility of Ethiopia while the Emperor was on the battlefield.
She visited the Holy Land four times and built a church and monastery on the banks of the Jordan River. During her life she also experienced a great deal of sorrow and hardship, enduring the loss of seven of her ten children, five years as a refugee of war in exile, plus the everyday struggle of on-going health problems.
She was also a devoutly religious woman who did much to support the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewaheo Church. She built, renovated and endowed numerous churches in Ethiopia and in the Holy Land.
She gave generously from her personal funds towards the building of the new Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion at Axum, but did not live to see it completed and dedicated.
When the Empress was exiled from Ethiopia during the Italian occupation from to , she made a pledge to the Virgin Mary at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, promising to give her crown to the church if Ethiopia were liberated from occupation.
The Empress made numerous pilgrimages to Holy Sites in the then British-ruled Palestine, in Syria and in Lebanon, during her exile to pray for her occupied homeland. Empress Menen, although often seen wearing a tiara at public events that called for it, would never again wear a full crown.
Empress Menen performed perfectly in the role of Empress-consort. In her public role she combined religious piety, concern for social causes, and support for development schemes with the majesty of her Imperial status. She took no public stand on political or policy issues. The Empress and some of her family were placed under house arrest briefly during the Imperial Guard coup against her husband at her villa outside the Guenete Leul Palace grounds in northern Addis Ababa.
Following the return of the Emperor and the crushing of the coup attempt, there was much speculation as to the conduct of the Crown Prince, who had been proclaimed monarch by the coup leaders. It was noted that the Crown Prince had accompanied his mother in a drive through the palace grounds, making stops at Imperial Guard posts to exchange pleasantries with the guards, on the night before the coup was launched.
The appearance of the Empress with the Crown Prince at her side may have been used by coup leaders as an indication to their followers that the Empress might sympathize with a movement that brought her favored son to the throne.
It is extremely unlikely that either the Empress or the Prince had any idea of what was being plotted. However, a cloud of suspicion never left the Crown Prince, and the Empress was deeply saddened by this. Following her death in , the Empress was buried in the crypt of Holy Trinity Cathedral in the capital city among the tombs of her children. Prime Minister Aklilu Hapte-Wold delivered her eulogy paying tribute to her charity, her piety, and her role as advisor and helpmate to the Emperor, as well as her personal kindness and goodness.
On the third day memorial and commemoration after the funeral, the Emperor himself paid tribute to his wife by saying that although the Prime Minister had aptly described what kind of person his late wife had been, he wanted to say that during their five decades of marriage, not once had it been necessary to have a third party mediate between him and his wife, and that their marriage had been one of peace and mutual support.
But due to the revolution, the Emperor was not buried there after his death, and the Empress remained in her original tomb in the crypt. Submit an Event. View All Events…. Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab.
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Mother of The Ethiopian Nation: Empress Menen Asfaw
The title of Jantirar has traditionally belonged to the head of the family holding the mountain fortress of Ambassel, and he was one of them. Male descendants of the Prophet are sharifs. When the early followers of Mohammed were being persecuted in Arabia, they fled across the Red Sea to the Axumite Empire where they asked for sanctuary. The rulers of Arabia asked Armah to return the refugees, but when he saw that they were mostly women and children, he refused saying that even if the Arabian rulers sent him a mountain of gold he would not hand over these poor people.
Life and times of Empress Menen
She was the wife of Emperor Haile Selassie. Menen Asfaw was born in Ambassel. According to both published and unpublished reports, the then Woizero Menen Asfaw was first given in marriage by her family to the prominent Wollo nobleman, Dejazmach Ali of Cherecha at a very young age, as was the prevailing custom. She bore her second husband two children as well, a daughter, Woizero Desta Amede, and a son, Jantirar Gebregziabiher Amede. It is unclear whether Woizero Menen was married to the aged nobleman and secured a divorce shortly afterwards to marry her royal groom or whether there was only an engagement between them which was broken without ado.
Category:Empress Menen Asfaw
21 Empress Menen Of Ethiopia stock pictures and images