Beit Sahour (Agenzia Fides) - The "Shepherds' Field", included in the Palestinian town of Beit Sahour, is one of the places most dear to the Christian memory of the birth of Jesus. In that locality, according to tradition, shepherds stayed overnight, they were the first to receive from the angels the news of the birth of Jesus, which took place in nearby Bethlehem. In that place, where the small Franciscan Sanctuary "Gloria in excelsis Deo" already stands, in the shape of a Bedouin tent, surrounded by a small park with archaeological excavations (see photo), the laying of the first stone was blessed in recent days which marks the beginning of the works for the construction of a reception center intended to serve those - pilgrims and local ecclesial communities - who wish in the future to experience times and moments of coexistence and spiritual retreats in that place so dear to Christians from all over the world.
The news was released through the media linked to the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. Father Dobromir Jasztal, vicar of the Custody, and Father Marcelo Cichinelli, guardian of the church of St Salvatore in Jerusalem, explained in a video released by the Christian Media Center that the spaces of the reception center will be erected thanks also to the contribution of US donors. Furthermore, the construction of the new structure will also make it possible to offer job opportunities to families who during the time of the pandemic have suffered particularly from an economic point of view due to the prolonged suspension of the traditional flow of pilgrims. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 28/7/2021)