Tag Archives: Bethlehem

Holy Land Day Two, Bethlehem

An image of the flight into Egypt in the cave under the Milk Grotto Church where we celebrated Mass.

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” ~Matthew 2:13-15

An image of Mary nursing the Infant Jesus.

The door into the Nativity Church.

The mosaic floor from the fourth century Church of the Nativity.

The church is under extensive renovation.

If you look carefully you can see the restoration of mosaics that have been covered for centuries.

The Catholic basilica in Bethlehem. A courtyard with a statue of Saint Jerome who lived in a cave under this present day church until his death.

The interior.

Nativity grotto. Under the ancient basilica is the cave where Our Lord was born.

Nativity cave entrance.

Entering the cave.

The silver star where Christians venerate the birth of the Savior.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. ~Luke 2:1-7

Nativity cave, evokes a strong devotion that we expressed in the singing of Silent Night.

Shepherds’ Field. Mosaic in the cave.

Dome of Church. At Shepherds’ Field. It looks like the roof of a Bedouin tent.

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. ~Luke 2:8-18

Frescoes in the Shepherds’ Field Church.

Shepherds, holding up the altar.

The church at Shepherds’ Field was designed to look like a Bedouin tent.

The Fountain at Shepherds’ Field.

Angel Mosaic in Bethlehem

The Church of the Nativity is one of the oldest churches in Christendom. Today through the skill of the Italians beautiful mosaics covered for centuries are being brought to light. What a treasure that has been hidden from our eyes!