On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Feast of the Epiphany, the 100,000th baby made his way into the world at Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem. Baby Muhammad was delivered safely into the arms of his parents.

It was appropriate that the 100,000th baby was born in the wee hours of the morning on a day held dear to Christians around the world. Bethlehem, the most Christian Governorate in Palestine, is home to 200,000 citizens.

A few years ago, on Christmas Eve, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed those gathered for Mass saying that “Christianity is essential for Palestine. Our Christians may be few, but they are like salt; essential. Palestine has been a mosaic society for centuries and will continue to be so.”

Holy Family Hospital operates on this same premise. Hospital staff work together in our ecumenical workplace in service to the poor. All are welcome.

Since the Order of Malta reopened Holy Family Hospital as a maternity and neonatal critical care center, there have been 100,000 blessings, 100,000 smiles, and 100,000 promises of hope for the generations to come.

Please the Western Association in welcoming the newest citizen of Bethlehem.