“Milk Grotto”: What’s in the name?
In this era of technology, what is the value of a belief that is devoid of any scientific basis? To many, the idea of unreasoned belief may sound absurd but to the believers, belief is the force that keeps them going. Milk Grotto is not just a random historical place; it is a ray of hope where the helpless come to seek help. Milk Grotto has so many different names as, The Chapel of the Milk Grotto, Grotto of Our Lady, Crypta lactea (Latin) and مغارةآلسثئ (Arabic), etc. It is basically a Catholic chapel in Bethlehem in the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories and close to the church of Nativity where Jesus Christ was born. After giving birth to the baby boy, when Mother Mary was escaping to Egypt during the Massacre of the Innocents, she took shelter in this place. While feeding child Jesus, few drops of Mary’s breast milk fell into the cave and the yellowish rocks took the color of creamy white. With the touch of righteous Virgin Mary’s milk, this ordinary place became pure and holy. Hence this cave-like place is called “Milk Grotto”.
What is “Milk Grotto” Significant for?
Apart from its scenic beauty, Milk Grotto has a special impact. It is not only a pilgrimage but also a place of wish fulfillment. For ages, Christian women and infertile couples come to Milk Grotto for Mother Mary’s blessings. It is believed that this blessed place helps women to fill their empty wombs with beautiful babies. When medical science closes the door of hope for the childless people, Milk Grotto provides them a breath of fresh air. The Christians believe that, if any sterile person comes to this place and prays with an untainted heart, Mother Mary blesses him/her with children. Some also believe that, if the interested couples buy small packets of milk powder and religiously intake the powder for 40 days, their prayers will be heard and soon they will be blessed with children. According to the information provided by Brother Lawrence, a devotee of the chapel, in last 12 years, 4000 infertile couples have been benefited by the sacred milk powder of Milk Grotto.
Brief Background of the Chapel:
Though earlier this place used to be nothing but a cave, a Byzantine church was built there around the 5th century. In 1872 the current Catholic Church was established replacing the former church.
“Mother of God Pray for Us”:
The outer walls of the beautiful Chapel are engraved with the pictures of Mary, Jesus and other historical events. The main entrance of the Chapel says “Mother of God Pray for Us”. The rooms of the Church which are basically caves are almost ten meters down and the stairs are adorned with the seashell brought from the Eastern Mediterranean.
Apart from its great biblical and spiritual magnitude, Milk Grotto is an amazing place to visit for people of any faith. The vintage flavor and serenity of the place will blow everyone’s mind.