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FEAST OF SAINT CATHERINE IN BETHLEHEM

Date: 27.11.2004
Source: Custody of the Holy Land


The feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, in Bethlehem, was celebrated on the 27th and 28th of November. Saint Catherine is the titular saint of the church and friary which the Custody of the Holy Land has in Bethlehem, besides being also the patron saint of the same Catholic parish of Bethlehem.

As is the custom each year, the Franciscan community of Saint Saviour's Monastery, together with representatives of the parish of Jerusalem, accompany the Father Custos in the solemn entry into Bethlehem before commencing the liturgical celebrations.

This year the Custos has been substituted by the Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land, Father Artemio Vítores González, who presided over first Vespers. Father Artemio was welcomed in Manger Square, the main square of the town of David, by Father Amjad Sabbara, the parish priest of Bethlehem, and also by the civil authorities and the local military authorities. The Scouts were also present at the celebration. The Franciscan friars and a numerous crowd of people awaited the Vicar of the Custody at 11:30 a.m. At 2:30 p.m. the Franciscans sang solemn Vespers, presided over by the Vicar of the Custody, and afterwards they celebrated the Office of Readings, presided over by the Guardian of the friary, Father Justo Artaraz. Both celebrations were concluded by the incensation of the Star and Grotto of the Nativity. One could happily see some groups of pilgrims, a sign that the situation of the Holy Places is slowly coming back to normal. We hope that great numbers of pilgrims will visit Bethlehem during the Christmas celebrations, which in effect have already started with this First Sunday of Advent. We also hope that the celebrations can be carried out in a spirit of peace and joy.



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Created / Updated Friday, 8 October, 2004 at 7:46:35 am by J. Abela, E.Alliata, E. Bermejo
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