Main partners

Studium Biblicum Franciscanum


This is an academic institution for research and teaching of the Holy Scriptures and biblical archaeology. In 1901 the Custody of the Holy Land began planning such a center, and the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum has been in operation continuously since 1924. Since 1960 it has been part of the Pontifical University Antonianum of Rome. In 2001 it became the Faculty of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology. The Studium Biblicum Franciscanum maintains a specialist library containing approximately 56,000 volumes and 420 journals. The principal sectors are: archaeology, biblical studies, patristics, Judaism, ancient Near East, and accounts of travelers to the Holy Land.

The Studium Biblicum Franciscanum collaborates as scientific advisor on all the cultural heritage preservation projects initiated and implemented by Association pro Terra Sancta.

Mosaic Centre

logo mosaic_centre_jericho (PNG)

A non-profit association that operates in Palestine, Jordan and Syria for the protection of cultural heritage and to increase its awareness among the local population. It carries out projects to restore mosaics and ancient buildings. It also organizes courses designed to prepare skilled craftsmen and restorers, and promotes cultural activities.

Mosaic Centre works together regularly with Association pro Terra Sancta, in particular in carrying out training courses, cultural activities and implementing preservation and development projects in Jordan, Israel and Palestine.

Franciscan Social Services Office

logo FSSO ridotto

The Franciscan Social Services Office is the office of Caritas of the Custody, which since 2008 has carried out charitable and social/ cultural development activities in support of the most vulnerable elements of the Christian presence in Bethlehem. Motivated by the desire to give continuity to the service of support and care for the poor performed by the Franciscan friars for centuries in the Holy Land, the FSSO assists the local population in a very complex environment by focusing on the individual and seeking concrete answers to the ongoing medical and health emergencies, promoting networking with hospitals and social welfare and charitable centers in the area. The office also promotes the education of young people, by providing economic support for their education and promoting integration, and supports training and self-determination for women through their inclusion in the workforce.

The Franciscan Social Services Office and Association pro Terra Sancta work together regularly in carrying out educational and support activities, on occasion involving other charitable organizations in Palestine.

Technical Office of the Custody


This office carries out maintenance, restoration and construction projects of complex structures: monasteries, churches, and housing (particularly in the Old City of Jerusalem). It consists of a technical and operating staff. The operating staff is made up of local workers, Christian and Muslim Arabs, many of them previously unemployed and coming from the West Bank, for whom a valid permit is required, thus offering them the possibility of work and training. Staff recruited for a fixed term are followed and supported by local and international expert staff in order to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills. Over the years, many of these workers have been employed on permanent contracts by the Custody of the Holy Land as well as by other companies in Israel and Palestine. The Technical Office is a section of the Bursar’s Office, an administrative and management organ of the Custody of the Holy Land.

The Technical Office of the Custody works closely with Association pro Terra Sancta in implementing preservation and development projects.

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