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Israel Museum Reveals Ancient Artifact Depicting Nativity in Bethlehem

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Ahead of Christmas, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem revealed the existence of a rare token that was likely a memento of a Christian’s trip to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, at least 1,400 years ago.

They’re called Eulogia tokens – small souvenirs that Christians collected on pilgrimages to the Holy Land hundreds of years ago, much like they do today. But this particular token is unique.

“I’m holding a tiny, miniature token that used to belong to a 6th or 7th century pilgrim that came here [on] a journey. We have here a Nativity scene. So he probably visit Bethlehem,” said Morag Wilhelm, Assistant Curator of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine archeology at the Israel Museum.

Wilhelm discovered this rare piece – about the size of an American dime – in a large collection that had been donated to the museum.

“We can see Jesus, baby Jesus and also the ox and the ass but they are inside an architectural building. And we think that this building is the church of the Nativity,” Wilhelm told CBN News.

The souvenirs were made of earth taken from holy sites.

According to Wilhelm, this one is unique because Mary and Joseph are not in the picture and its likely depicting the cave under the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem – that makes it a combination of the historical scene from the birth of Jesus and a depiction the structure from a few centuries later.

“So this combination is very rare in the case of Bethlehem. We have it here in Jerusalem, from the Holy Sepulcher but not from Bethlehem,” she said.

Christians have been making pilgrimages to places mentioned in the Bible for at least 1,700 years.

In an historical writing of church father St. Jerome, he relates the story of a woman on pilgrimage from Rome named Paula:

“Then she entered the cave of the Savior…and saw the stable, where ‘the ox knew his Master, and the ass his Lord’s manger’… then she solemnly declared in my own hearing that, with the eyes of faith, she saw a child wrapped in swaddling clothes, weeping in the Lord’s manger…”

“So, what we guess we are seeing here is it’s this special visualization or religious experience that you go to the Holy place and you actually see baby Jesus in the cave of Bethlehem,” Wilhelm said.

The token will likely be displayed in the museum’s Pilgrimage collection along with other tokens depicting biblical scenes, especially from the life of Jesus like the crucifixion and resurrection. They also have other “souvenirs” like little vials for oil, and crosses, pendants and rings.

And while coronavirus may have closed down international tourist travel for now, when the gates re-open tourists and pilgrims are sure to return to Israel and the Holy Land.
Sources:faithwire

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Sixth-grader shoots classmates in US; 3 people were injured

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Three people, including two students, were shot Thursday at an Idaho middle school, according to officials.

At a press conference, Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson said the suspect is a sixth-grade girl from Idaho Falls who is a student at Rigby Middle School, where the shooting took place. Initial reports had incorrectly identified the suspect as male.

Anderson said the unnamed student allegedly drew a handgun from her backpack and shot three people — one inside and two outside — before a teacher disarmed her.

The suspect is in custody at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and may be charged with attempted murder pending results of the investigation, according to Mark Taylor the county’s prosecuting attorney.

The shooting victims were struck in their extremities and are expected to survive, but may require surgery, officials said

Three ambulances initially responded to Rigby Middle School after authorities learned of the shooting about 9:15 a.m. MT, Idaho Falls Fire Department spokeswoman Kerry Hammon said.

Authorities took the injured to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where they were listed as stable.

“Today we had the worst nightmare a school district could encounter. We had a school shooting here at Rigby Middle School,” Jefferson School District Superintendent Chad Martin said in a statement. “What we know so far is the shooter has been apprehended. There is no further threat to the students.”

“I am praying for the lives and safety of those involved in today’s tragic events,” Idaho Gov. Brad Little tweeted. “Thank you to our law enforcement agencies and school leaders for their efforts in responding to the incident. I am staying updated on the situation.”

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Nine babies in a single birth, this miracle of the extreme

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Bamako: A mother who miraculously gave birth to nine children in a single delivery to the scientific world Halima Sisse, 25, gave birth to nine children. A native of Mali, an African country, she gave birth to nine babies by caesarean section. Rarely, nine babies are born in a single birth.

Even with so many babies in the womb, it is common for many babies to die before they are fully grown. A scan of Halima’s pregnancy revealed that she had seven babies in her womb. Doctors said special care was needed as this was a rarity. Halima was then flown to Morocco.

However, Halima gave birth to 9 children, including 2 babies who were not even seen on the scans, even when doctors gave birth. Halima gave birth to five girls and four boys, all of whom are healthy, Malian Health Minister Fanta Cibi said.
He added that the girl and children would be returned only after a few weeks.

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