Chapel of St Catherine

Adjacent to the church of the Nativity is the Franciscan Chapel of St. Catherine of Alexandria, sensitively restored by Antonio Barluzzi in 1933. From here, the Christmas service at Bethlehem is broadcast all over the world. A statue of St, Jerome, who lived here in the fourth century and translated the bible into Latin, stands in the middle of the courtyard, while interesting crypts, said to be the burial places of St. Jerome, St. Paula and St. Eusebius of Cremona, honeycomb the rock. Another door, always kept locked, links the crypt with the Grotto of the Nativity. Within the church of St. Catherine are the Chapel of St. Joseph, where Joseph was commanded by an angel to flee to Egypt, and the Chapel of the innocents, commemorating the deaths of the babies killed by King Herod.