milk grotto

Milk Grottos – the place for the Holy Family

…on top of the hill, close to the Basilica of the Nativity, stands the Franciscan Sanctuary of the Milk Grotto.

Here, according to an ancient tradition, the passing of the Holy Family before their flight into Egypt is commemorated.

The legend tells that a few drops of milk would fall while the Madonna was nursing the Child, which made the reddish rock turn completely white.

Visited daily by pilgrims from all over the world, the Sanctuary is always being venerated and popular belief is still going strong … after 16 centuries, Christian and even Muslim women come here to ask for the protection of the Virgin and the gift of motherhood.