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Bethlehem, Franklin

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Bethlehem, which is in the Palestinian Authority, lies five miles from Jerusalem and is easily reached on a service taxi from Damascus Gate. The aptly named Manger Square is a big plaza lined with tourist shops. Here you will find the Church of the Nativity, which was built where Jesus was born (a silver star marks the exact spot). Next door is Saint Catherine's Church (built in 1881) and it is from here that Midnight Mass on Christmas is televised. A few minutes from Manger Square, is the Milk Grotto, where supposedly a drop of Mary's milk fell when she was nursing Jesus. Christian women with fertility problems come here to pray; Jewish women longing for children pray at Rachel's Tomb (on the outskirts of Bethlehem).