Sunday, December 21, 2008

only 4 more sleeps!

Advent Calendar - December 21

Christmas Fact:

According to early Christian tradition, Jesus was born in one of the caves that local people used to shelter animals. As early as the second century A.D., pilgrims began to visit that cave. The Roman emperor Hadrian (76-138 A.D.) constructed a shrine to the pagan god Adonis over this site. In approximately 325 A.D. after the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity, the empress Helena (c. 248-328 A.D.) had the temple to Adonis destroyed and built the Church of the Nativity over the presumed site of Jesus’ birth. . . .

Today the Church of the Nativity is an Eastern Orthodox shrine. The cave in which Jesus was born lies underneath the church. Known as the “Grotto of the Nativity,” this underground chamber is a site of intense religious devotion for Christians of many different denominations.

Encyclopedia of Christmas pp. 47,48

Virtual tour of the Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem


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