Milk Grotto

The milky white church of the milk grotto is a Franciscan chapel built over the cave in which the holy family sheltered during the flight to Egypt. When King Herod heard from the three wise men that the new born king of the Jews had been born in Bethlehem, he ordered that all male children aged two years and less should be killed. An angel warned the holy family of these murders, and they fled to Egypt. Tradition holds that while nursing the baby, some of Mary’s milk spilled on the stone floor turning the entire cave white. Packets of the powdered white stone are sold there and are especially popular with nursing mothers who believe that the powder will ensure a plentiful supply of milk.