Bethlehem in Judæa
Arabic BEIT LAHM; Hebrew BEJTH LECHEM
Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.
- Church of St. Catherine:
St. Catherine of
Alexandria of course had two famous visions of the infant Jesus;
some versions of her life say they took place during a visit
to Bethlehem, and the church is said to mark the site. It
is probably also the location of St. Paula's IV Century
monastic community. Because of the connexion to St.
Catherine, pilgrims to Bethlehem in the Middle Ages
could obtain badges depicting half of a Catherine wheel
(the full wheel badge being reserved for pilgrims to
The site has been controlled by
Franciscans since the 1300s; in late mediæval
and Renaissance times aristocratic pilgrims
could apparently be knighted into the
mysterious Order of St. Catherine
(a Western group with ties to Orthodoxy and Mt. Sinai) by the
friars living here.
The relics of St. Jerome and his companions are
probably somewhere in the caves under the church.
--- St. Catherine Parish
The Shepherds' Fields (Beti Sahour):
Return to St Pachomius Library.