We read in the travel chronicles by pilgrims in ancient times that it was the direct responsibility of the guardian of the convent in Jerusalem, also called the Custos of the Holy Land, to go in person to Jaffa to welcome pilgrims.
If he could not go himself, he sent someone he trusted implicitly and who had to be a wise and capable person because the journey to Jerusalem was complicated by numerous circumstances.
When they arrived, the pilgrims found hospitality behind the walls of the Franciscan convent and good advice for their stay in the Holy Land.
For centuries the Franciscans also guided the pilgrims in all the aspects of the pilgrimage: Biblical and spiritual, logistic, bureaucratic, political etc.
Today, although many friars are dedicated to the service of pilgrims, it is not possible to meet the needs of accompaniment, considering the growing number of faithful who come to the Holy Land each year.
One habit, however, has not changed: the pilgrims meet the Father Custos of the Holy Land or one of his representatives.
Meeting the Custody during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land not only helps you understand the special bond that history has sealed between the order of the Friars Minor and the Places of the Salvation, but lets you see the reality of this land and its people through the eyes of those who love it.
The Custody looks forward to meeting you!