Summer shorts #4 The Milk Grotto in Bethlehem, a hidden gem


Manage episode 298885233 series 2830217
By Kristel. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

When tourists visit Bethlehem, especially in an organized tour, they usually visit the Church of the Nativity and when they are lucky also the Shepherds fields in Beit Sahour, but hardly does the guide take the tourist to visit the Milk Grotto Church. And that's a pity. Because this hidden gem is just a five minutes walk through the Milk Grotto street where you can also some of the oldest buildings in town as well as workshops with Palestinian olive wood crafters at work.
As with most churches in Palestine, this church is also built over a cave where an important Bible story took place according to the local Christian tradition. This is supposedly the cave where Joseph and Mary were staying when Joseph had a dream in which God told him to flee to Egypt, because King Herod was planning to kill all the children under the age of two.
It is in this cave that Mary nursed baby Jesus and a drop of her milk fell on the ground and miraculously turned the whole cave into a white limestone, much whiter than can be found in the surroundings.
A church was built on this location already in Byzantine time and rebuilt in Crusader time. The present day church is from the 19th Century. Until today women come to visit this church to pray for fertility. The church receives many letters, postcards and photos annually from women who have become pregnant and gave birth after a visit to the Milk Grotto.
Next time you visit Palestine, don't miss out on the Milk Grotto church!
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