In this picture of the entrance to the monastery hand prints can be seen over the lintel. These were made by people making a vow to the saint and sacrificing an animal (goat or sheep) at the site and leaving a bloody handprint over the entrance to seal the prayer.
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Emma Loosley, “The entrance to Dayr Mar Elian,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed September 26, 2018, http://architectureandasceticism.exeter.ac.uk/items/show/508.