Bethlehem, Dec 24, 2023 / 13:04 pm
On Sunday, Dec. 24, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, made his entrance into Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas. It was also his first entrance into the “City of Christmas” since being made a cardinal.
Following tradition, the patriarch entered the city through the area adjacent to the Tomb of Rachel, the burial place of the matriarch of the Jewish people. This is a small strip of land inside Bethlehem, under Israeli control, completely surrounded by the separation wall.
The cardinal walked along Star Street, winding through the heart of Bethlehem, which is the route traditionally believed to have been taken by the Holy Family. On his red robe, he wore the keffiyeh, the traditional Palestinian head covering, which was placed around his neck upon his arrival.