Altar of the Nativity

 Altar of the Nativity, fourth century C.E., Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem.

The Altar of the Nativity, located in a grotto deep within the Church of the Nativity, marks the traditional spot thought to be the location of the birth of Jesus. The church was originally built by the emperor Constantine and his mother Helena in the fourth century C.E. The star on the altar floor is adorned with the Latin inscription “Hic de Virgine Maria Iesus Christus natus est” meaning “Here Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary.” The idea that Jesus was born in a cave is one of the oldest Christian traditions, dating back to the second century C.E.

Church of the Nativity

Birth, often accounts about the birth of Jesus.

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