The Door of Humility
The Door of Humility is a small doorway leading into the Church Of The Nativity in Bethlehem. It is a rather short door and if you were to come up upon the Holy Site on a horse, you would need to dismount. Why is it that this site would need this type of protection?
Christians believe that The Church of the Nativity marks the exact spot that Jesus Christ was born. Since this was not a popular belief in the Ottoman period, looting of churches was common. The Church of the Nativity because of the Holy site it protected and the wealth of the church became a target. It was also no secret that this was a site with great meaning for Christians the world over, thus the church that protected this Holy Site became a target of crime.
The Door Of Humility was crafted during the Ottoman times to help prevent carts from being driven inside the church by looters. It even caused the noblest of visitors to have to dismount from their horses. The Door Of Humility served it’s purpose well. If your purpose was noble and honest, then you did not object to walking into this holy place. This doorway was crafted from an earlier wide Crusader doorway. The Crusader door gave entry to all and the looters could enter and do their evil with ease. You can still see the outline of the original Justinian square entrance. It is especially visible above the Door of Humility.
One of the greatest and far-reaching crimes against this church happened in 1847. It was then that the precious silver star that marks the birthplace of Jesus was taken from the church. The international outcry was great. Soon there was a resulting conflict. Thus in 1854 to 1856 we saw the Crimean War break out. In 1852 shared custody of the Church of the Nativity was given to the Roman Catholic, Armenian, and Greek Orthodox Churches. The Greek Orthodox Church cares for the Grotto of the Nativity.
A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is an adventure in faith. Here you will see the birthplace of Jesus. You will discover and walk in the steps of Jesus as he grew into adulthood. Eventually, you can walk where He walked as He ministered to the people of the Holy Land. For Christians, a pilgrimage is one of the greatest privileges. Why not make this the year that you choose to explore the places where Jesus Christ lived and walked.