In 1863, a young Italian missionary priest living in Bethlehem, Fr. Antonio Belloni, began to take care of many poor Christian orphans in the town by offering them shelter and a proper religious and vocational education. For this purpose, he opened two orphanages, one in Bethlehem and one in Beit Gemal, and still, nowadays he is remembered as Abu El Yatama, the “Father of the orphans”.

The Cremisan house was founded a few years later as a religious educational house for the congregation of the Holy Family Fr. Belloni had founded. In 1885, a small winery was established to guarantee work opportunities for the poor people in the area through wine production and to ensure the institute’s self- sufficiency.

A few years before his death, Fr. Belloni met Fr. John Bosco, the founder of the Salesian congregation, and due to the similarity of their purposes and mission to help and give the poorest of youth a better future through education and care, he decided to join the Salesians and asked the congregation to support his social activities in the Holy Land.

From 1957 to 2007, the Cremisan Monastery hosted the Salesian Institute for Philosophical and Theological studies, accommodating up to 80 young Salesian students coming from all around the world.

Today the area of Cremisan is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful localities in Judea, not just for its natural ecological surroundings, but especially due to the patient and dedicated work of many Salesians that over the decades terraced the slopes, cultivated vineyards and olive groves, and afforested wide areas with one of the oldest pinewoods of the area. Their efforts and commitment have widely contributed to the winery’s development. These features make Cremisan one of the most desirable destinations for excursions and visits for local people, visitors and tourists alike.