Milk Grotto Holy Land Rock Powder, Authentic from Milk Grotto Bethlehem, The Holy Land / Please Read Description

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Milk Grotto Holy Land Rock Powder, authentic from Milk Grotto Bethlehem

This small and peaceful chapel is located close to the Nativity Church in Manger Square. Tradition has it that while Mary was nursing Jesus, a few drops of milk spilled to the ground turning the rocks white. The church is believed to be where Joseph, Mary and Jesus took refuge before their escape to Egypt.

“And after the wise men departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying Arise, and take the child and his mother and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.” Matthew 2:13-19.

In the heart of Bethlehem, just a few minutes walk from Manger Square, there is a beautiful chapel of Margaret Sitti Mariam, “Grotto of the Lady Mary”, commonly known as “the Milk Grotto”. It is said that the Milk Grotto was the place where the Holy Family found shelter during the Slaughter of the Innocents, before their flight into Egypt. Mary and Joseph decided to stay there until they knew that their newborn baby, Jesus, would be safe from King Herod’s soldiers.

A church was built over the grotto in the 5th century. The remnants of a beautiful mosaic found in the courtyard of the grotto are believed to be from this time period.

The grotto’s name is derived from the belief that a drop of Mary’s milk spilled onto the ground of the cave and turned it completely white. In fact, the milky white rock covering the grotto’s interior has a magical power. For ages, childless woman of many religions have made a pilgrimage to the Milk Grotto, in order to ask for the gift of an offspring. Some of the pilgrims will take the stone powder with them and give it to the people who cannot have children.

Strong beliefs and prayer really can create miracles as demonstrated by the tens of thousands of people who have taken a sample of the milk powder home with them. People are supposed to mix a pinch of the powder of Milk Grotto’s rock with water or milk and their spouse should drink the mixture. If they are Catholic they should pray the Holy Rosary together. While saying the third joyful mystery – “The Nativity of Jesus in Bethlehem” – they are to pray for a gift of an offspring.

And the angel said unto them: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger”. (Luke 2,6-12)

If the spouse is of another religion they should simply pray with their own words to the Virgin Mary.

While passing the church’s gate and turning left one can find a small room full of photographs of many little babies held by their happy parents. The room was created to display evidence of the power of the “White Stone of Miracles” and to expose the letters of gratitude from new parents and their families. The letters found within are in many different languages and each includes a picture of their gift from the Virgin Mary, the photo of a long-awaited child. The miracle of the milk grotto has created ecstatic parents from many religious backgrounds and from all around the world.

Between the letters there is one from a Polish lady called Janina. She came with her husband on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and during her visit to the Milk Grotto in Bethlehem she discovered the room of the “Miracle Babies”. Knowing that her son and his wife could not have a baby for a long time, she thought that the prayer to the Virgin and the holy power of the grotto’s stone could give them a chance. So she decided to take a piece of the milky rock with her to Poland and give it to her daughter in law. Her grateful letter is one of the best testimonies for Mary’s great miracle. Janina writes that finally her first granddaughter, Lidia, was born.

milk grotto

The present building around the Grotto was built by the Franciscans in 1872 and before that in the 5th century with mosaics fragments of motifs and crosses and traces of original walls that remain to this day. The grotto is hollowed out of the soft white rock. There is also a tradition that identifies this as the burial site of the young victims of Herod’s Slaughter of the Innocents.

This chapel has long been a devotional site for women. Both Christians and Muslims believe scrapings from the stones in the grotto boost the quantity of a mother’s milk and enhance fertility. Nursing mothers mix it in their drinking water while expecting mothers place the rock under their mattress.

This revered site is known in Arabic as Maghari al Saiydeh. Many European churches have taken away pieces of the rock to put in their own churches.

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Another Story written by Fr Lawrence Bode 👇 

At the Milk Grotto, ‘evidence that there is God’

Tucked away behind Nativity Square, not far from the Church of the Nativity that, according to Christian tradition, marks the spot where Jesus was born in the manger, is the Milk Grotto. This is the location where, according to another tradition, Mary nursed the Infant Jesus and where a few drops of her milk fell onto the rocks, turning the soft limestone from its original yellowish-brown hue to a creamy white.

In a tradition dating back centuries — possibly even to the earliest Christians — women and couples who are unable to conceive have come to this grotto to pray to Mary, in hopes that her intercession will bless them with a baby.

Keeping records

Today, pilgrims can take home tiny packets of white powder from the grotto, and together, the couple for 40 days follows a devotion that includes drinking small amounts of the powder and saying a prayer. The bags are sold at a symbolic cost but can only be purchased at the grotto since the requests would be overwhelming to manage.

In the 12 years since Brother Lawrence Bode, the Franciscan caretaker of the shrine, has been keeping records, there have been about 4,000 letters from couples attributing their miracle babies to the “milk powder.”

Brother Lawrence estimates that there have been twice as many babies born whose parents have not written him. He keeps all the letters and pictures in black and white three-ring binders and is now on his 10th binder. The latest babies include a pair of twins.

“(Last week), I went to the post office box and there were about 10 baby pictures,” Brother Lawrence said. “People pray for healing so they can have a baby and become a mother. Every two days, we have a baby. It is a wonderful place to work, bringing babies from all over the world. It is such tangible evidence to the miracle. The letters are the testimony.”

Indeed, the letters and pictures in the binders and the ones decorating almost two walls of his small office next to the shrine come from every corner of the world, including Brazil, Argentina, India, the Philippines, Mexico, the United States, Canada, Germany, Sri Lanka, Bermuda, Ireland and Spain. More recently, Brother Lawrence said, he has even been receiving letters from Taiwan and China.

Miraculous evidence

Each letter attests to the difficulty the couples had in conceiving. One woman and her husband wrote from India that they had struggled to conceive for as long as 20 years. The husband wrote about their immense joy when their baby girl was born after they had followed the devotion. An Episcopal pastor from the United States wrote about the six years he and his wife were trying to conceive and sent a picture of him proudly carrying his newborn baby in a carrier on his chest. From Argentina, a young woman wrote about the birth of her daughter after 10 months of trying to conceive.

Two local Palestinian couples sent in pictures of their miracle babies: One couple had triplets, and the other quadruplets.

Brother Lawrence says he often jokes with couples to be careful how much of the powder they take because that is what can happen. But in all seriousness, he says he never asks the couples if they are also undergoing fertility treatments but acknowledges that very well may also be the case. Their prayers and faith in the devotion may help the process along, he said.

Some letters attribute other miracles, such as healing from cancer, blindness and paralysis to the “milk powder” as well.

“It is a wonderful feeling to know that there is hope for couples, people who are sick, even people who are losing faith. I pray for the people who take this devotion every day of my life,” said Brother Lawrence. “This is evidence that there is God. We are talking about miracles. In these days, you talk about miracles and people don’t believe.”

Some people, such as the parents of the quadruplets and the parents of a girl from a northern Galilee village who was in a coma, have brought their children back to the shrine to give thanks, Father Lawrence said.

Giving hope

Long devoted to the Virgin Mary even before he went into religious life, Brother Lawrence said his devotion has grown threefold since he joined his order.

“There are a certain number of prayers I have to pray to the Virgin Mary every day or I am not a happy person,” he smiled, adding: “We put our faith in Jesus. We put our faith in his mother.”

In several spots in the grotto, ceiling holes the width of a finger are evident where, over the years, people have scraped bits of the powder to take home. Indeed, Brother Lawrence says, they must be vigilant of people who try to scrape the powder from the ceiling. Just recently, he said, a visitor was attempting to carve out hunks of the stone with an umbrella.

The structure was renovated two years ago, removing centuries’ old soot from the ceiling and, to accommodate bigger pilgrim groups, adding a larger upper chapel on top of the older chapel, which was built over the grotto around the year 385.

He noted that at some point during earlier renovations, a huge deposit of the powder was put into storage, which is what is today offered to the faithful who come to the shrine. Brother Lawrence said he believes there is enough to “last at least 100 years.”

“This gives the people hope. It is good that there is hope,” said Svetlana Rezinovski, a tour guide who came by for the second time in two days to buy numerous packets for members of her group from Moldova. “Orthodox Christians also come to ask for (Mary’s) help, too.”

As Christians are celebrating the birth of Jesus during the Christmas season, Brother Lawrence says he celebrates the birth every day as babies from all over the world are born with what he believes is the intercession of Mary using the grotto’s “milk powder.”

On Jan. 1, a special Mass in honor of Mary is celebrated at St. Catherine Cathedral, which is adjacent to the Church of the Nativity. Several hundred faithful follow in a procession with song and prayer, carrying an icon of the Virgin Mary to the Milk Grotto, where they are blessed by a priest.

“Jesus tells us that if we have the faith of a mustard seed, we can move the mountain,” Brother Lawrence said.

“Miracles happen with people’s faith. This is not magic. It has to do with a person’s faith and belief.”

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