Friday, January 19, 2007

Milk Grotto in Bethlehem

Milk Grotto Chapel, a popular site visited by Filipinos during Christmas

Image of Mary feeding Infant Jesus

Portrait of Mary and Infant Jesus

The Holy Family

Infant Jesus Christ
Just near the Church of the Nativity is the Milk Grotto which is a popular veneration site. The Milk Grotto is said to be the location where the Mary, Joseph and the Infant Jesus temporarily sought refuge during the incident of the Slaughter of the Innocents.

It is also in Milk Grotto where Mary was able to nurse infant Christ before the traveled to Egypt. It is said that a drop of milk from Mary dropped to the ground, which turned the color of the rock floor into white. The soft white rock of the grotto is popularly thought of as having healing powers as well as health benefits for the lactating mothers.

In 1872, the Franciscans put up a chapel on the Grotto. A well-loved and maintained site in Bethlehem, the local people and artisans decorated the chapel with mother-of-pearl art works and carvings.

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