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Document which confers Tabor to the Custody

(Note: The original copy of the document which is presented here is preserved in the archive of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land )


Having been observed by Fr. Diego di San Severino that some of our domestic Religious covet and with all their power had tried to build a hospice or dwelling on the Holy Mount Tabor even though it has been made almost inhabitable because of the great danger form the Arabs; and having been beseeched by his brothers to send some of them to live there, or at least (in view of the danger they would have on the top of the mountain) on the slope near the villa, where Our Lord Christ, when he came back down the mountain, said to his disciples: Nemini dixeritis visionem donec Filius hominis a mortuis resurgat, where there is a large but half ruined church; he obtained from the Emir of Sidon, not only permission for the brotheres to live there, and take possession of the church; but he also gave them the whole of that Sacred Mountain; this Fr. Guardian agrees to permit them to live there and our catholic workers of Bethlehem (they have been greatly harassed and perseuted by those Greek Bethlehemites) to cultivate it. This has been made clear to us by the Counsul of the Grand Duke of Tuscany dwelling in the city of Sidon, with these words:

On the 4th day of December, 1631, Sidon. We, Francesco da Verrazzono, Counsul to the Most Serene Grand Duke of Tuscany to the Most Excellent Lord Emir Falchaldino and Emir Ali his son; and resident to Madam Most Serene Grand Duchess of Tuscany, to the Lord Emirs. We pledge full and unequivocal trust, since the Emir Falchaldino has granted permission to the Most Reverend fra Diego of San Severino, Guarding of Terra Santa, that he may go and send his brothers to inhabit and possess and dwell on the Sacred Mount Tabor where Our Lord Jesus Christ was transfigured. And there they may quietly and peacefully engage in their prayers and celebarate the divine offices and Masses according to their rite, in the way they have done in the past when they came for their devotions in the company of pilgrims. I say again, that since the Lord Emir Falchaldino has given permission to the catholic christians that they may go to dwell on that mountain, the Lord Emir believed that also the Fathers would go there to dwell. And as a sign of the truth there will be prsent the undersigned, by our own hand, and by our chancellor, and marked with our usual seal on this day and your in Sidon. Francesco da Verrazzano, Counsul. Locus - Seal. Marius Pellicus Chancellor of said Counsul.


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