Best Place to Read the Ave Maria in Every Imaginable Language

Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery
1400 Quincy St. NE
The first time I read the Hail Mary in Egyptian hieroglyphics, I was shirtless and sweaty and feeling just a bit sacrilegious. I didn’t plan it that way; I’d happened upon the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery in Brookland while jogging and couldn’t help but investigate the cloisters. That’s the way most people encounter the church, the most impressive D.C. site you’ve probably never heard of. The monastery allows longtime D.C. residents to play tourist as they take in the church’s replicas of various Holy Land artifacts and stroll the lush, expansive gardens—a great place for a quiet read on a spring day. But the cloistered linguistic tour of the Ave Maria is the highlight. Peruse the holy text in ancient languages, obscure dialects, and various forms of Old English. Amen—or as they say in Provençal, assi!