As this Advent begins, in Bethlehem the sun is once again shining, after the intense cold and continuous rain of recent days.
Following the traditional entrance of Custos Pierbattista Pizzaballa accompanied by scouts, the town prepares for Christmas: a group of workers is busy working on the lights that will illuminate Star Street. On Manger Square the imposing Christmas tree is nearly ready to be lit and the multiethnic Christmas market stalls have taken the place of the autos that normally stop there. The air smells of the humus and falafel sold along the sides of the square, and one observes the colors of the hats of the pilgrims visiting the town. The voices of street vendors and the shouts of children mingle with the notes of the musical band enlisted for the first Sunday of Advent.
At the day center of the Società Antoniana, the elderly are also enjoying the sun: some perform stretching exercises in the open air, others play cards. But the cold weather of recent days has served as a reminder to everyone that winter has arrived, and that no one will be spared. In Bethlehem, in fact, many families do not have sufficient drinking water or gas for cooking and heating, and in the absence of help face the prospect of spending Christmas in the cold.
This is why it is important to support the Christmas campaign of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land in favor of the poor of Bethlehem. With your contribution you will be offering the children the possibility of receiving a better education, the elderly a hot meal and the medicines they need, and the families a concrete support for coping with their most pressing daily needs.
Donate today to make Christmas a little more joyful for those in need.