- The relic was presented to Franciscan custodians of the Holy Land in Jerusalem
- It will be taken to Bethlehem tomorrow in time for traditional tree lighting
- This is first time a wooden part of the manger has been returned to Bethlehem
A wooden fragment said to be from the crib of the baby Jesus arrived in Jerusalem today on its way back to Bethlehem after a millennium-long absence.
The relic, housed in Rome since the seventh century, was presented to the Franciscan custodians of the Holy Land at a mass in the Notre Dame Catholic centre opposite the walls of Jerusalem’s Old city.
It will be taken to Bethlehem on Saturday, in time for the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree in Manger Square.
The city, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, is believed to have been the birthplace of Jesus.
The wooden fragment said to be from the crib of the Infant Jesus is returning to Bethlehem more than a thousand years after it was sent to Rome