Church of Saint Catherine, Bethlehem

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Church of Saint Catherine
Ecclesia Sanctae Catharinae
3372 כנסיית קתרינה הקדושה - הירונימוס.JPG
31°42′16.4″N 35°12′28.0″E / 31.704556°N 35.207778°E / 31.704556; 35.207778Coordinates: 31°42′16.4″N 35°12′28.0″E / 31.704556°N 35.207778°E / 31.704556; 35.207778
LocationBethlehem, West Bank
DenominationCatholic Church

The Church of Saint Catherine[1] or Chapel of Saint Catherine (Latin: Ecclesia Sanctae Catharinae, Arabic: كنيسة القديسة كترينا, Hebrew: כנסיית קתרינה הקדושה) is a religious building that is affiliated with the Catholic Church[2] and is located adjacent to the northern part[3] of the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem[4] in the West Bank in the Palestinian territories.[5] It works as a parish church[6] and Franciscan monastery.[7] There is a complex of caves underneath the church.[6]

Is administered by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, follows the Roman Rite, and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2012 as part of the "Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route in Bethlehem".


Byzantine period[edit]

St Jerome's monastery was possibly located at the site of the medieval cloister, its foundations laying hidden under the current pavement laid by Barluzzi.

Crusader period[edit]

Augustinian monastery.

Mamluk period[edit]

A small chapel, located near the site of the current altar of St Catherine of Alexandria, was dedicated to the Alexandrine saint in 1347 as part of the Franciscan monastery.[8] The church is first mentioned in the 15th century.[7][dubious ]

Late Ottoman period[edit]

The church in its current shape is the result of work from the 19th century.[6] It is built in Neo-Gothic style.[citation needed] It was extended in 1881 with funds provided by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary.[7]

After World War II[edit]

It has since been modernized several times according to the approved liturgical trends after the Second Vatican Council (Concilium Vaticanum Secundum Oecumenicum).[citation needed] The Crusader-period cloister was restored in 1948 by Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi.[7]

Connection to St Catherine[edit]

The medieval chapel was built at the alleged site of Jesus' apparition to St Catherine, where he announced her of her coming martyrdom.[7]

Televised Christmas Mass[edit]

This is the church where the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem celebrates Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Church of St. Catherine in Bethlehem at
  2. ^ Cornell, George W. (1 January 1966). Voyage of Faith: The Catholic Church in Transition. Odyssey.
  3. ^ Rapp, David (28 November 2015). The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Hanan Isachar Photography. ISBN 9789657000083.
  4. ^ Wareham, Norman; Gill, Jill (30 November 2011). Every Pilgrim's Guide to the Holy Land. Canterbury Press. ISBN 9781848251045.
  5. ^ Isaac, Rami; Hall, Colin Michael; Higgins-Desbiolles, Freya (1 January 2015). The Politics and Power of Tourism in Palestine. Routledge. ISBN 9781317580287.
  6. ^ a b c d "Church of St Catherine of Alexandria". See The Holy Land. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Church of St. Catherine - Bethlehem". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Church of St. Catherine". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.

External links[edit]