Bethlehem and elderly people in the Holy Land

Vocations “come and follow me”

Bethlehem and elderly people in the Holy Land

When people think of Bethlehem, they think, above all, that it’s the place where Jesus was born in the Holy Land. They think of many children who were born and continue to be born here, in this land that is as holy as much as difficult and full of contradictions.
But Bethlehem is not only a place of birth but also a place where people grow, become adults and, why not, sometimes get old.

“…the one who sits with the elderly is respected”. Pro. 31, 23.

The complicated political and economical situation inthe Holy land strongly hits the weakest and particularly, besides the children, the elderly. Many families in the Holy Land and particularly in Bethlehem have no income, with serious problems on their shoulders and it is very difficult for them to look after the elderly of the Holy Land. There are more and more cases of abandonment in Bethlehem, one of the most important sites of the Holy Land.

The Project

The Custody of the Holy Land, with the help of the parish priest and the friars in Bethlehem, wishes to be a support for the families taking care of the elderly and to sustain works of the Antonian Society of Bethlehem, which has attempted to help the poorest and the least well-off since 1913.

A home for the elderly was founded in Bethlehem in 1942 and it’s where today 5 nuns of various nationalities called ‘Gianelline’ dedicate all their energy with patience and dedication, despite difficulties, to accommodate the elderly, or rather, that part of society that is being forgotten too often in the Holy Land and particularly in Bethlehem. The nuns, together with some local “social workers” look after, wash, feed, give medical cures and keep company to about 40 elderly women, each day and each night.
But food, medicines, water and electricity have also here a certain cost. Most of these elderly people of Bethlehem don’t have a family and therefore, the charge for bed and board, which is in theory requested, doesn’t get paid by anyone in the Holy Land. In fact, on the territory of the Palestine autonomy, there is no system of public health assistance.

The cures linked to any type of illness are to be paid by families who don’t receive any financial help, if not from their parish.

The only hope for these elderly people and for the ones who have decided to dedicate their life to them is providence.

With the funds raised for the elderly people in Bethlehem, we wish to deal with the most urgent emergencies of the Holy Land which are mainly connected to the purchasing of medical equipment and medicines, as well as to bear the costs of operations in hospitals and subsequent medical care.

Besides we want to complete the structural extention of the house in Bethlehem.

The objective is to set up a home for the elderly men in Bethlehem, in the Holy Land.

At present, this structure is almost completely finished: in order to accommodate its first guests it is necessary to purchase some furnishings, mattresses, beds and medical and first aid equipment.

The project “Bethlehem and elderly people in the Holy Land” is realized in collaboration with the Franciscan parish of Saint Catherine. The parish, through the young people and family centres makes every effort to give help and comfort to the Christian population of Bethlehem in the Holy Land respecting the most urgent needs of this Holy place.

Help support the Holy Places. Maintain the Christian Community in the Holy Land

For more information send us an e-mail or call the following number:, tel +972 2 6271165

Bethlehem and elderly people of the Holy Land

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Events calendar


Vigil of Christmas. Bethlehem: 13.30 Entrance of the Archbishop & I Vespers - 16.00 Procession - 23.30 Office & 00.00 Mass - 1.45 Procession to the Grotto


Nativity of the Lord. Bethlehem (St. Catherine): 10.00 Mass Shepherds' Field (Greek & Catholic): 14.00 Pilgrimage


Feast St. Stephen, Protomartyr. St. Stephen: 16.00 Pilgrimage


Feast of the Holy Innocents. Bethlehem:10.00 Mass - 14.00 II Vespers (Vicar CTS)


Octave of Christmas. Beit Sahour: Holy Angels ad pastores

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