Read the daily quote from Pope Francis

 

Bethlehem

We leave Jerusalem and travel 5.5 miles to Bethlehem, the city of David.

In Hebrew, Bethlehem means "House of Bread." In Arabic, Bethlehem means "House of Flesh." These two translations add layers of meaning to Christ's birth in Bethlehem and give us insight into God's intricate and beautiful plan for our salvation. 

Before we visit Bethlehem and the place of Christ's birth, we visit Beit Sahour, "House of Watchers," or the Shepherd's Field where angels appeared to announce the birth of the Messiah to poor shepherds. 

Picture: A chapel has been built in the fields where an army of angels appeared to the shepherds.

Luke 2:8-20

Picture: A chapel has been built inside a traditional shepherds' cave where tradition tells us the shepherds and their flock were resting when angels appeared nearby in the fields. 

The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem 2 miles away to witness the good news the angels told them. Then they went out rejoicing and praising God. Luke 2:15-20.

 

We, like the shepherds long ago, journey to Bethlehem a couple miles away to the Church of the Nativity to see the birthplace of the Messiah. 

Picture: The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. This church was originally built in 325 by St. Helena and her son Emperor Constantine over the cave identified as the cave Christ was born among the innkeeper's animals.

Picture: The cave where Jesus was born. The cave has been split into 3 parts and chapels placed in each. 

Picture: The Chapel of the Holy Innocents. After Herod the Great realized a new king was born and the magi did not return to tell him who the Messiah was, he had all male children 2 years old and under killed in Bethlehem. The Catholic Church considers these children the first martyrs of the faith, called the Holy Innocents. Matthew 2:1-18.

Picture: The Chapel of St. Jerome, where Jerome translated the Hebrew and Greek scriptures into Latin starting around 386 AD. He would spend decades in the cave where Christ was born producing the Vulgate Bible which the Church predominantly used from the 5th century through 20th century. 

Picture: Msgr. Lofton was gifted with beautiful new vestments while in Bethlehem at a local shop.

 

Tomorrow we journey through the Judean Desert, to the Jordan River, and spend time in Galilee. 

We are praying for you! May God bless you always and in all ways. 

 

 

 

Holy Land Pilgrimage

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Follow Msgr. Lofton's group pilgrimage to the Holy Land: October 19th - November 4th.


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