The Franciscan Boys Home in Bethlehem | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

The Franciscan Boys Home in Bethlehem

In a corner of the Palestinian Territories, a few meters away from the Milk Grotto in Bethlehem, has existed now for five years a Franciscan home for children. It's called the Franciscan Boys Home, and it was born in 2007 through the initiative of the Custody of the Holy Land. Today, it welcomes nearly 40 children who for various reasons, cannot remain with their families of origin. The Custody of the Holy Land has made available a home for all these children, in a way orphaned of a father and a mother, with the friars who take care of them 24 hours a day. The children sometimes suffer from mild mental disorders, but they too are part of the small Christian community in Bethlehem.

Fr Rami Asakrieh, ofm (it)
Franciscan Boys Home
"Part of the mission of the Franciscans in the Holy Land is to take care of the Christians and to strengthen their presence by helping to solve their problems, whether these be social, educational, or problems of poverty. This house provides considerable help to Christians through these boys aged from 5 to 17."

The kids arrive after school. They eat before beginning their many afternoon activities: they study and do their homework. In short, they have a life in the possibility of studying and learning. There is also the opportunity to do some sport or manual labor, and it happens that some of them reveal themselves to be gifted. This boy proudly shows us a wooden cross that he made himself.

Man (ar)
"My name is Elias, I went to the Terra Santa School. I always felt a special inclination for these kinds of jobs. I then went to the Salesians, and over time this has become my specialty."

Every child has a story that should be told, most of them marred by serious social problems and economic problems. But where are the greatest difficulties, the love of the Franciscan friars always succeeds in bringing hope.

Fr Rami Asakrieh, ofm (it)
Franciscan Boys Home
"This is a place that ensures secure accommodation, where we provide for all the needs of a child so that he can grow in a balanced way and develop all of his human and social gifts. I think that by educating we also educate ourselves. We learn many things every day with the boys as they grow up. We learn to deal with every age in a certain way. We all need love, love offered through education, care, attention and understanding. "

These are values that the Custody has promoted tirelessly for 700 years, especially in the cradle of Christianity, where Jesus was born and where many children - among many difficulties and problems - continue to be born.