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Vocations “come and follow me”

Message of thanksgiving from the Custos after the re-opening of the Holy Sepulchre

Dear pilgrims and faithful,

May the Lord give you peace.

We wish to send you a message after the events of the last few days.
Last Sunday, in agreement with the Churches responsible for the Holy Sepulchre and the Status Quo of the Holy Places in the city of Jerusalem, a hard decision was made to shut the doors of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher indefinitely, as a gesture of protest against a proposed law at the Knesset and certain municipal initiatives that would have jeopardized the service of the Churches to the small Christian community living in the Holy City, and the very presence of a local Christian community.

We knew that this extreme decision, aimed at shaking our interlocutors and public opinion, would have inconvenienced many pilgrims who have come here to pray in the holy place of the Passion, death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This was an inconvenient and sorrowful situation for us as well: we are well aware that for many the pilgrimage to Jerusalem is a unique life experience and the result of many sacrifices.

Therefore, after the reopening of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, we, first of all, wish to express our deepest gratitude to the pilgrims from all over the world for their understanding with us and for the patience with which they carried out this situation. This unease may perhaps help to increase awareness surrounding the hardship often experienced by our local communities and by Christians living in the Holy Land.

The voice of the local Christian community, to whom we express our gratitude for having supported the initiative in solidarity, peace and prayer, was added to the solidarity and understanding shown by the pilgrims who came to Jerusalem from every continent. The same friars and monks who remained closed inside the Basilica over the course of the last few days, have continued to celebrate the Holy Mysteries inside and to pray for a quick and constructive solution to this critical situation.
Finally, we would also like to thank all those who, from all over the world, did not miss the opportunity to send us their humble and silent support through prayer, being aware of what was happening in Jerusalem. We ask you to continue to remain close to us, enlightened and guided by the Spirit, so that we may continue to preserve and protect the places of Evangelical Memory, the small local Christian community and Jerusalem’s unique human, cultural and spiritual treasures.

Fr. Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land

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Events calendar

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