The Milk Grotto Church is a Catholic Church close to the Church of the Nativity. It’s the place where the Holy Family found their refuge during the Massacre of the Innocents, before they could flee into Egypt. The Grotto’s name denotes from the belief that a drop of the Virgin Mary’s milk fell down the floor of the cave and changed its color to milky-white. For ages women who have infertility have visited the Milk Grotto Church to take a piece of the Grotto’s white rock praying for the blessing of an offspring.
A church was built on the site in the 5th century, mosaic fragments on the terrace of the grotto can be seen and are thought to be dating to this time. Later a Chapel was constructed in 1872 by the Franciscan Brothers around the Grotto.
A monastery of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is attached to the chapel. The red-and-white clad nuns practice perpetual Eucharistic adoration, and are also uninterruptedly praying for peace since 2016. The Polish artist Mariusz Drapikowski describes his work as inspired by the Apocalypse of St John: the closed tabernacle depicts earthly Jerusalem, with the twelve Apostles and the twelve Tribes of Israel surrounding the image of Jesus on the cross, while the open shrine is representing the heavenly Jerusalem, brightly shining and flanked by a pair of olive trees which symbolize the two witnesses of the Apocalypse.