Chapel of the Shepherd's Field

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Shepherds' Field Chapel
Sanctuary Gloria in excelsis Deo
Christmas Church (Bethlehem)3.jpg
The chapel in 2010
Shepherds' Field Chapel is located in the West Bank
Shepherds' Field Chapel
Shepherds' Field Chapel
31°42′26.3″N 35°13′48.4″E / 31.707306°N 35.230111°E / 31.707306; 35.230111Coordinates: 31°42′26.3″N 35°13′48.4″E / 31.707306°N 35.230111°E / 31.707306; 35.230111
Country Palestine
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
Architect(s)Antonio Barluzzi

The Shepherds' Field Chapel (Arabic: كنيسة حقل الرعاة‎; Hebrew: כנסיית שדה הרועים‎) is a Roman Catholic religious building.[1] in the area of Beit Sahur,[2] southeast of Bethlehem in the West Bank in Palestine. The chapel marks the place where, according to Catholic tradition, angels first announced the birth of Christ.

Biblical relevance[edit]

The location is traditionally held to be not only the site of the Annunciation to the shepherds, but also the place mentioned in Ruth 2:2, where Ruth gleaned grain for herself and Naomi.[3]


Byzantine period[edit]

Prior to the construction of the present chapel in 1953, Franciscan archaeologist Virgilio Canio Corbo excavated the site and found evidence of a large monastic establishment, whose church dates to the 5th century.[4]

Modern church[edit]

The Shepherds' Field Chapel was built by the Franciscans in 1953.[3] It is not far from the Greek Orthodox Der El Rawat Chapel, commemorating the same event.[5]


The Chapel was designed by architect Antonio Barluzzi. Under the chapel is a large cave.

It has five apses that mimic the structure of a nomadic tent in gray. The words of the angel to the shepherds incristas gold. An image depicting the birth of Jesus can be seen in the place.[6] The Status Quo, a 250-year old understanding between religious communities, applies to the site.[7][8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Murphy-O'Connor, J. (2008-02-28). The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780191647666.
  2. ^ "Midnight Mass at Bethlehem | Magnificat Media | Creation and production of engaging educational content". Magnificat Media | Creation and production of engaging educational content. 2015-12-31. Retrieved 2016-05-09.
  3. ^ a b Tilbury, Neil (1989-10-01). Israel, a travel survival kit. Lonely Planet. ISBN 9780864420152.
  4. ^ Shomali, Q. and Shomali, Sawsan: “A Guide to Bethlehem & the Holy Land, Bethlehem University
  5. ^ Humphreys, Andrew (1996-01-01). Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Lonely Planet Publications. ISBN 9780864423993.
  6. ^ Jenkins, Ferrell (2013-12-25). "Visiting the shepherd's fields near Bethlehem". Ferrell's Travel Blog. Retrieved 2016-05-09.
  7. ^ UN Conciliation Commission (1949). United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine Working Paper on the Holy Places.
  8. ^ Cust, L. G. A. (1929). The Status Quo in the Holy Places. H.M.S.O. for the High Commissioner of the Government of Palestine.

External links[edit]