• Short Summary

    CHRISTMAS BEGAN AT BETHLEHEM. CHRISTIANS BELIEVE THAT NEARLY 2,000 YEARS AGO JESUS, THE ONLY SON?

  • Description

    CHRISTMAS BEGAN AT BETHLEHEM. CHRISTIANS BELIEVE THAT NEARLY 2,000 YEARS AGO JESUS, THE ONLY SON OF GOD, WAS BORN INTO THE WORLD IN A BETHLEHEM STABLE. LITTLE MORE THAN A WILDERNESS AT THE TIME OF JESUS' BIRTH, THE EVENT WHICH CHANGED THE COURSE OF HISTORY LIFTED BETHLEHEM FROM OBSCURITY AND IN SPITE OF A CHEQUERED HISTORY TODAY IT IS A PROSPEROUS TOWN IN THE CENTRE OF A FERTILE DISTRICT. ITS WINE IS AMONG THE BEST IN THE PALESTINE AREA.

    BETHLEHEM'S ASSOCIATION WITH THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION STRETCHES WAY BACK TO OLD TESTAMENT TIMES. IT WAS GARRISONED BY THE PHILISTINES IN THE TIME OF SAUL AND WAS THE EARLY HOME OF DAVID. THE STORY OF RUTH IS SET IN THE BETHLEHEM AREA BUT IT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN ON THE DECLINE AT THE TIME OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS.

    THE SITE OF JESUS' BIRTH IS MARKED BY THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, DESCRIBED BY JUSTIN MARTYR (A.D. 150) AS A CAVE NEAR THE VILLAGE. IT WAS EVIDENTLY RECOGNISED AS A SACRED SITE BY CHRISTIANS IN A.D. 132 BECAUSE HADRIAN FELT IMPELLED TO DESECRATE IT. THE FIRST BASILICA TO BE ERECTED ON THE SITE WAS BUILT BY CONSTANTINE IN 330. DISPUTES FOR THE POSSESSION OF THE SANCTUARY AND PRECEDENCE IN WORSHIP HAVE OCCUPIED THE CHURCHES MANY TIMES IN THE PAST 1600 YEARS.

    THE GROTTO OF THE NATIVITY IS A CRYPT OCCUPYING THE CENTRE OF THE TRANSEPT AND APPROACHED BY STEPS LEADING DOWN FROM EITHER SIDE OF THE CHOIR. FITTED INTO THE MARBLE PAVING IS A STAR WITH THE WORDS "HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA, JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS EST" AROUND IT. 15 LAMPS BURN ROUND THE STAR DAY AND NIGHT - 6 GREEK, 5 ARMENIAN, AND 4 LATIN. MASS IS CELEBRATED THERE EVERYDAY BY THE GREEKS AND ARMENIANS.

    WHEN OUR CAMERAMAN VISITED THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY RECENTLY FRANCISCAN MONKS FROM MANY NATIONS SANG THE TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS CAROL ADESTE FIDELES (O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL).

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7MZURUB7UCRX3G7V4D3ISJHS1
    Media URN:
    VLVA7MZURUB7UCRX3G7V4D3ISJHS1
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/12/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:31:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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