The Shepherd’s field, the place where the Good News was first spread

About 2 km east of Bethlehem, heading towards the desert of Jericho, there is Beit Sahur, that means “House of Vigilance”. It is a small village, surrounded by the the fields of Boaz where shepherds grazed their flocks since ancient times. In one of these fields, as the Gospel says, “there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord’”. (Lk 2: 8-12).

Today, a sanctuary called Shepherd’s Field stands in the place where all this happened, with a church built by Antonio Barluzzi in 1953. Around it, there are remains of two Byzantine churches of the 4th and 6th centuries and a monastery that were discovered during last century.


Current state of the site

Today, the remains are in terrible conditions. The archeological site has been left out for too long without adequate coverage and protection of the plasters and the mosaics, that have been heavily damaged. There are weeds and dirt everywhere and the catwalks built to allow to visit the area, are in decay, besides being built into a material that damages the ancient remains.

This prevents pilgrims and visitors from enjoying the place and to imagine that night when the Angel brought the first announcement of Salvation. The project therefore aims to rehabilitate the area with the involvement and vocational training of the local population.


Activities we support

  • Rehabilitation and protection of the archaeological area
  • Documentation, cleaning and restoration of mosaics and plasterwork
  • Construction of new catwalks in less invasive and less damaging material for the remains
  • Vocational training and formation of young people in the surrounding areas and involvement in excavations and the restoration works
  • Special Visits for Schools with the purpose to increase awareness on the value of the historical heritage and on the importance of preservation activities

Your support would help us rehabilitate a place so dear to all Christianity, allowing pilgrims and people to relive that night of great joy, when Jesus was born and the news of his birth was first spread.


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