Certified Olive Wood Trees
When you purchase olive wood handicrafts from My Caring Cross, not only are you purchasing a beautiful, natural reminder of Jesus Christ; you're also supporting local Christian craftsmen located in Bethlehem, helping us pay them a fair and ethical wage for their work, supporting the presence of Christians in the land of Christ.
The Olive Tree
The olive tree is probably the most significant plant mentioned in both the New and Old Testament. First mentioned in Genesis as the leaf brought by the dove to comfort Noah, it was the tree Jesus prayed under before the last supper. The olive tree also provided food, lamp oil, anointing oil, and building material during ancient times.
Olives trees are evergreen, and can grow for thousands of years. It was the tree admired by Hosea, whose leaves have been a sign of abundance, glory, and peace, and are still used to crown victors in the Olympic Games today. The oil from the fruit used to anoint the sick. The olive trees of Jerusalem are pruned to remove the hardened wood, and open the tree so new growth can provide a bountiful crop of olives the next year. This process does not harm the trees, and the beautiful timber is then used by local craftsmen to carve your cross!
All our olive wood comes from the fields around Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.
Bethlehem Craftsman and Fair Trade
Christian craftsmen have been carving the branches thinned from the olive trees since the fourth century. Monks from the Church of Nativity built on the site of the birth of Jesus Christ taught the local Christians how to use the olive wood to carve. The process was passed down from generation to generation.
When Franciscans arrived in the 16th century the artisans began creating religious souvenirs for the pilgrims. Today, the cottage industry is a major source of income for the Christians of Bethlehem and helps to support the Christian community. The carving of Olive wood crafts is a very labor intensive practice with much of the carving done by hand.
Issa (pictured above) overseas all the Olive Wood products that come from the Holy Land. He took over from his father Jiries.
In recent years, the decrease in tourism and reduction in suitable olive wood has caused many Christian craftsmen to emigrate from the area. Each member of the community who leaves puts further pressure on the rest. Purchasing Caring Crosses and other handicrafts made by local Christians in Bethlehem ,who are paid a fair price for their work, both provides yourself with a beautiful natural reminded of Jesus Christ but also supports the presents of Christians in the land of Christ.
Benefits of the Caring Cross
The Caring Cross is made from genuine olive wood in Bethlehem, the Holy Land. Designed specifically to fit within the contours of your hand they are perfect to hold during prayer or meditation. Caring Crosses make a wonderful gift to say "thanks" or "I care" to your pastors, priests, bible study groups, prayer groups or any family member or friend in need of a little boost in faith.
"I use my cross when walking in the morning, I focus my prayers on my son deployed overseas" Mother
"I hold my cross for nightly prayer then hold it till I fall asleep", child 9.