History of the Custody

Vocations “come and follow me”

The Custody and Its History in the Holy Land

“It was not without a providential design that the historical events of the 13th century took the Order of Friars Minor to the Holy Land. Since then, the sons of St. Francis have remained in the Land of Jesus, to serve the local Church and to look after, restore and protect the Holy Places of Christianity.”

Paul VI – Nobis in animo, 1974

“ ‘To look after’ means first and foremost loving, caring for, being fond of and having close. Looking after for us today means being in those places, giving them life with the liturgy, praying and animating them.”

Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa

Leading figures in the holy places, the Friars Minor fulfill their mission in this land encouraged by their founder, St. Francis, who went to the Holy Land in 1217.

Since then, they have always accepted the challenges of the times to be able to transmit the Grace of the holy places to the whole of humanity and to share their lives with the “living stones”, the local Christian communities.

“The task of the Custody is a great grace, which Providence has entrusted to us.
But the tension is always that of asking ourselves about the figure of Jesus. Because these places must make us think of Him. Nazareth, Bethlehem, Capernaum and Jerusalem invite us to pray, but also invite us to question ourselves about that Jesus who trod this land and on the Church which celebrates and remembers a particular moment in His life every time.”
Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa


Events calendar


All Souls. S. Saviour: 9.00 Mass Cemeteries Mount Sion: 10.00


Bethlehem: 11.30 Entrance 13.45 Vespers - 14.15 Procession - 15.30 Office & Procession


Bethlehem: 9.00 Solemn Mass (Custos)


Vigil of Christmas. Bethlehem: 13.30 Entrance of the Patriarch & I Vespers – 16.00 Procession – 23.30 Office 00.00 Mass – 1.45 Procession to the Grotto


The Nativity of the Lord. Bethlehem (S. Catherine): 10.00 Mass Shepherds' Field (Greek & Catholic): 14.00 Pilgrimage

2011 - © Gerusalemme - San Salvatore Convento Francescano St. Saviour's Monastery
P.O.B. 186 9100101 Jerusalem - tel: +972 (02) 6266 561 - email: custodia@custodia.org