In Hebrew, the word Bethlehem is comprised of two words, Beth (House) and lehem (bread), thus Bethlehem means the “house of bread”. The significance of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus cannot be overstated, as Jesus is the lifegiving bread.
Today, there remains 150,000 Christians in the entire State of Israel, which has a total population of about 8.8 million. Another 250,000 Christians live in nearby Jordan. The photos below show that Christmas is alive and present today in Bethlehem; a lifelike nativity scene at the Casa Nova (a Franciscan Hostel housing pilgrims) the Church of the Nativity where Jesus was born, and Bethlehem Square with the traditional lighting of the tree located right across the Church.
Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus, born to a Virgin Mary and blessed spouse Joseph in a humble manger in a little town called Bethlehem. Let us rejoice and be glad!
Is Christ calling you to walk in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi?
If you are interested in learning more about Franciscan spirituality, or possibly find yourself discerning a call to the Secular Franciscan Order, please join us. Inquiry is open to all Catholic men and women not members of another religious order or secular order and 18 years or older. Candidates must be practicing Catholics faithful to the teachings of the Church and loCareyal to the Apostolic See. The Secular Franciscan Order belongs to the Franciscan Family and is “formed by the organic union of all the Catholic fraternities, whose members, moved by the Holy Spirit, commit themselves through profession to live the Gospel after the manner of St. Francis in their secular state following the Rule approved by the Church” (Const. 1,3).