Welcome to the Chapel of the Divine Child on the campus of Bethlehem University in the Holy Land. We are very pleased that you have come to see this very beautiful and inspirational place of worship. Whether you have had the opportunity to see the Chapel in-person during a visit to our campus or are discovering it online for the first time, we feel you will come away with a sense of peace, serenity, and spirituality – no matter your faith.
Through the generous contribution of the Vice-Countess de Coetlosquet, widow of the Vice-Count Maurice de Coetlosquet, the Chapel of the Divine Infant was built in 1908. For many years the chapel was cold, bleak with white-washed walls, and the only two attractive items were the rich Algerian onyx altar and the beautiful French style stain glass windows. In 1957, Br. Olivier Etienne, Provincial of the Brothers in the Near-East, concluded a deal with Mr. Robert Laban, a French artist who happened to be residing at the Trappist Monastery in Latroun. Mr. Laban came to Bethlehem to live with the Brothers in March 1957 and accomplished the frescoes by December 1958.
Mr. Laban turned the ceiling of the chapel into a colorful and attractive illustration of the Bible episodes leading to the realization of God’s plan of salvation of mankind culminating in the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ as depicted in the bas-relief Nativity scenes below the main altar table.
The frescoes over the sacristy doors represent the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem; we believe you will find the expressions on the faces of the children priceless. The scenes in the side chapels depict the lost sheep on the right facing the altar and the prodigal son on the left.
Mr. Laban judiciously chose sepia, brown, ochre and dark red colors to match the colors of the desert landscape surrounding the main building and its environs.
Again, thank you so much for visiting the Chapel of the Divine Child! We invite you to take a “virtual tour” of the chapel by clicking on one of the links below.
Brother Stephen Tuohy, FSC
Vice President for Advancement