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300 PILGRIMS FROM POLAND PRAY FOR PEACE IN THE HOLY LAND

Date: Mercoledì, 10 Novembre 2004
Source: Custody of the Holy Land

  




From the 4th to the 10th of November there was a pilgrimage organized by the Commissariat of the Holy Land in Poland.  A team from Radio Maria took part in the pilgrimage that transmitted direct through radio and television which offered a lots of fellow nationals to follow this great religious event.  There were about 300 pilgrims that came from different parts of Poland; they joined at the invitation of Fr. Nikodem Gdyk and Fr. Paschalis Kwoczala, commissary and vice-commissary of the Holy Land, to visit the holy places and to pray for peace in the Middle East.  The pilgrims were divided into six groups which were distinguished by the color of a scarf. 
Each group under the guidance of a Franciscan friar or a priest visited the most important sanctuaries, beginning in Nazareth; where the groups stayed for the first two days of the pilgrimage.  From Galilee they went to Judea to complete the visit to the holy places.  The program of the visits was structured around liturgical celebrations with the participation of the groups.  Bishop Antonio Pacifico Dydycz, OFMcap. presided and was spiritual guide of the pilgrimage.  Holy masses were celebrated at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, at the sanctuary of the Primacy of Peter in Tabgha, at the River Jordan in Yardenit near Lake Tiberias, at the Shepherds’ Field in Bethlehem, at the Basilica of the Agony and at the Basilica of the Ressurection, in front of the Tomb of Jesus. 
In conclusion, a beautiful liturgy was organized at St. Saviour’s, the parish church of Jerusalem.  In the homily the bishop explained the meaning of peace, commenting on the Psalm 122: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” and recalled the importance of everyone being an “instrument of peace”, Fr. Ibrahim Faltas, parish priest of the Holy City, took part presenting the situation of Christians in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.  Fr. Jerzy Kraj, discreet of the Holy Land and guardian of St. Saviour’s, spoke about the Franciscan presence for centuries in the Middle East and its various development activities in the Custody of the Holy Land.  At the end, he conferred upon the Bishop Dydycz the golden cross of pilgrimage.  The celebration was concluded with the recitation in Polish and Arabic the Franciscan prayer “Lord make me an instrument of your peace”.

jk



  



  

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