After eighty-three days of closure, in the city of Bethlehem the small door of the Church of the Nativity - the door of humility, hope, and mercy - was reopened by the three churches responsible, after the closure imposed to fight the spread of the Coronavirus.
Br ENRIQUE SEGOVIA, ofm
Guardian of the Basilica of the Nativity
"Today, May 26th, through a statement of the Custody and with the agreement of all 3 communities of the Basilica of the Nativity, we opened this Holy Place, the Shrine of the Nativity, which was closed materially but always spiritually open.
We are happy that the time has come for the reopening: to open the door means once again to welcome all the pilgrims who will surely come slowly to this Holy Place and also the local faithful who will surely take part, together with the parish priests, in the Sunday liturgy and the various celebrations."
HE Mgr THEOPHYLAKTOS
Greek Orthodox Patriarchal Vicar in Bethlehem
"After eighty-three days of quarantine, today is a special day, because we were able, in accordance with the Status Quo and the instructions of the Ministry of Health, to reopen the Basilica of the Nativity. From this holy place, we send a message of hope to the whole world: we have not stopped praying for the end of this pandemic and for all of you."
Fr ASBAD BALIAN
Head of the Armenian monastery in the Church of the Nativity
"We are happy, we thank the Lord, the Almighty because we have been able to reopen the church and welcome the faithful, pray with them, express all our gratitude to the Lord for the help and support to men and the Church. We have supported each other and survived the difficulties because together we are stronger. If we are united, we will win!"
In accordance with the official declaration issued by the heads of the three churches guardians of the Nativity, access to the Basilica may be restricted to a maximum of 50 people, without fever or coronavirus symptoms and with the obligation to wear the mask.