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REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SPANISH EPISCOPATE VISIT THE FRANCISCAN CUSTODY OF THE HOLY LAND

Date: Saturday, October 30th, 2004
Source: Custody of the Holy Land



The pilgrimage program of a group of Spanish Bishops, representing the Spanish Episcopal Conference, included a visit to the Custody of the Holy Land. The Bishops had already been in contact with the Franciscan Friars, having celebrated the Holy Mass in the most famous sites in all of Christianity: Nazareth, Bethlehem, and the Holy Sepulchre. After all their travels, the Bishops wanted to officially meet the Franciscan Friars at the headquarters of the Custody, the monastery of Saint Savior’s, located inside the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem.
Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M., the Custos of the Holy Land, speaking in Italian, expressed to the Bishops his preoccupation for the Holy Land and for the Christians that live in the land of Jesus. Afterwards, Father Artemio Vitores, O.F.M., the Custodial Vicar, speaking in Spanish, presented the work that, during almost eight centuries, the Franciscans Friars have carried out in the Holy Land, in the name of, and mandated by, the Catholic Church. Father Artemio emphasized above all the fundamental mission of the sons of Saint Francis: to have access to the holy sites and to maintain an environment of spiritual nourishment and inspiration for all the disciples of the Gospel that make pilgrimages here. Moreover, he pointed out the hard work of the Franciscans in maintaining a living Christian presence in the Holy Land, through the following works: parishes, schools, houses, and employment opportunities for the Christians. All of this is possible thanks to the spirit passed on by Saint Francis: to place oneself at the service of all with love. Finally, the Bishops were thanked for their pilgrimage to the Holy Land and for all that they are doing to help the Christians. Their trip was both a spiritual and material help for a church that is struggling in the Holy Land and could disappear if the necessary assistance does not continue.
Cardinal Ricardo Maria Carles, retired Archbishop of Barcelona, directed words of thanks and exhorted the Franciscans to carry on with their mission of service to the Church. [LINK]
The Father Custos then gave to all the Bishops present religious objects and a book to remember the pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to the Holy Land in the Jubilee Year 2000 of our redemption. Then the Bishops presented to the Custos a statue of Saint James of Compostella and a donation.




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Created / Updated Friday, 8 October, 2004 at 7:48:46 am by J. Abela, E.Alliata, E. Bermejo
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