Milk Grotto, Bethlehem

The street heading east from Manger Square along the south side of the Church of the Nativity leads to the Milk Grotto which is venerated by both Christians and Muslims, where according to Christian tradition, the Holy Family took shelter during the Slaughter of the Innocents and stayed therefor a short time hiding from Herod's soldiers.

It is here where Mary nursed her child Jesus Christ (pbuh) before going to Egypt. It is said that a drop of the Virgin's milk fell to the floor of the cave, turning the rock white and giving rise to the chalky stone.

The Milk Grotto is an irregular Grotto surrounded by a Franciscan Chapel and hollowed out of soft milk-white rock famous for its healing powers for lactating mothers. It is said that women take a piece of the rock, grind it and mix it with their drink while nursing.