As the birth date approached, Emperor Augustus issued an edict throughout the Roman Empire.  Everyone should go to the towns where their families originated from to register in a census.   Therefore, Joseph and Mary began their long journey to Bethlehem. The name Bethlehem means in the original Hebrew “House of Bread.”  It was here, that the Bread of Life was born: Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”.  John 6:3

Bethlehem Pilgrimage


The time came for the birth, but as stated in the gospel of Luke, the accommodation was full.  The original Greek word, kataluma is used, which means upper room, guest room or possibly inn.   Jesus was laid in a manger.

Soon a group of shepherds arrived from the fields, having been visited by an angel with the news of the birth of the Messiah  (Luke 2:8:14)

Also searching for the Messiah was a group of wise men from the east.  They had been guided by a star and had travelled a great distance to find him.  Initially, they stopped off in Jerusalem at the palace of King Herod, continuing their journey to Bethlehem. They arrived at the house (Matthew 2:2) and presented Jesus with gifts of gold (Kingship) frankincense (Priesthood) and myrrh (Burial) – all symbolic of the destiny of the Messiah.  They bowed down and worshipped him.

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
— Micah 5:2


King Herod tricked the magi into trusting him. However, being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they headed back to their country by another route. In the meantime, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to take the child and his mother to Egypt (Matthew 2:13). Herod was furious when he discovered that he had been outwitted by the magi and gave orders to kill all boys in and around Bethlehem of two years and under.


pilgrimage to bethlehem

Being a pilgrim in Bethlehem

To explore Bethlehem further, we will be: 

  • Praying the Mystery of the Rosary on the walk up the hill to the Church of Visitation.

  • Driving to visit the Shepherds’ Field to commemorate the shepherds who tended their flocks as Mary and Joseph searched for lodging.  

  • We will then visit Manger Square, which stands in front of one of the oldest Christian churches, The Church of the Nativity.   We will enter the church and descend into the Grotto of the Nativity.  A time to reflect on the birth of Our Lord.

Manger Square Reception.jpg

Manger Square


Manger Square Hotel is located 2 min by foot from the Church of the Nativity and offers spacious rooms in a comfortable atmosphere.


Shepherds House


A Christian owned hotel close the the Shepherds fields.For Christians the location, it is identified as the scene where the Angel of the Lord visited the shepherds, and informed them of the birth of Jesus. The hotel applies a hospitality of rich cultural heritage, passed down from generation to generation via tradition, and wisdom of the fathers, linking back to the hospitality of Abraham.