A short distance from the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is the Milk Grotto. This is the place where the Holy Family are believed to have taken refuge during the Massacre of the Innocents and before their flight into Egypt. The Virgin Mary is said to have nursed Christ in this grotto and legend states that a drop of her milk fell to the ground and turned the rock white. In the fifth century, a church was built around the holy site to celebrate this event and pilgrims venerated it throughout Late Antiquity. The Franciscans constructed the present church in the late nineteenth century.
Date of Visit
1st July to 8th August 2013
Metadata and all media released under Creative Commons unless otherwise indicated
Lucy O'Connor, “The Milk Grotto, Bethlehem,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed October 16, 2021, https://architectureandasceticism.exeter.ac.uk/items/show/209.