THE HOLY LAND,
CONCLUSION OF THE YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST AT CAPHARNAUM
Source: Custody of the Holy Land
The Custody of the Holy Land, at the conclusion of the Year of the Holy Eucharist, is organizing a special celebration: “I am the bread of life”. The celebration will be held at Capharnaum on Saturday, October 29, 2005 - hrs. 16.00. It will be presided by the Most Rev. Custos of the Holy Land.
The pilgrimages to the places of Redemption are one of the characteristics of the Franciscan presence and activity in the Holy Land. During the centuries in which it was not possible to establish a presence at this or that Holy site, the Franciscan Friars made a pilgrimage from the closest monastery with the local faithful and with pilgrims, praying and, when it was possible, celebrating the divine mysteries.
Regarding Capharnaum, at least from the year 1909, many years before the Custody of the Holy Land constructed a friary there with the name “Eucharistic Promise”, the friars of the Holy Land came here on pilgrimage the Wednesday of the octave of Pentecost. On this day in the entire Catholic Church (Latin rite) Jesus’ discourse on the bread of life was proclaimed from St. John’s Gospel, as it also was proclaimed during the Vigil Mass for the feasts of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 28th. There are the impressive remains of the synagogue, where Jesus gave the eucharistic discourse which attracted the interest and devotion of the friars who forced many sacrifices in order to save the synagogue from abandonment and destruction. We remember with gratitude the generations of Franciscan Friars who for more than a century loved, guarded, excavated, studied and beautified Capharnaum, the “City of Jesus” (Mt. 9:1), a sanctuary of gospel memories and cradle of the origins of the Church.
In continuity with this living tradition the Custody of the Holy Land, at the conclusion of the Year of the Holy Eucharist, is organizing this special celebration. May it revive in those that participate in this liturgy the certainty that here, once and for all Jesus Christ said to all : “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (Jn. 6:35).