In the Holy Land with us


The Custody of the Holy Land promotes pilgrimages to the Holy Places, of which the Franciscans of the Orders of Friars Minor have been the custodians for almost eight centuries, according to the wishes and mandate of the Universal Church. It promotes journeys with an in-depth spiritual approach in the Holy Land, to those Holy Places which St. Francis, founder of the Order, visited in 1219, and to which the Franciscans have accompanied pilgrims from all over the world for centuries.

The suggestions for pilgrimages include itineraries of eight days to the Holy Places and pilgrimages inspired by Biblical itineraries which include visits in Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. Pilgrims who choose a pilgrimage promoted by the Custody of the Holy Land stay at the Case Nove, the Franciscan centres of hospitality located near the main Sanctuaries. On the site of the Pilgrimages you can also find very useful practical information for those wishing to visit the Holy Land. As from 1 May 2015 the Pilgrims Office of the Custody of the Holy Land in Rome is being entrusted to the Fondazione Terra Santa. The decision was taken by the Custodial Discretorium meeting of 13 December 2014 and has been communicated on 7 January 2015. It has become operative with the nomination of Fr. Giuseppe Ferrari ofm, delegate of the Custos for Italy and president of the same Foundation, who is now responsible for this Office.

The structure in Rome will continue to operate along the continuous and long consolidated tradition, as a centre for animation and promotion of pilgrimages to the Holy Land and the Christian Orient, in service to and in close collaboration with the Commissariats of the Holy Land. Among the priorities of the Office there will be that of the strengthening of our presence in the sector of Franciscan pilgrimages especially in Central and Southern Italy, as well as an opening to new programs in view of the Jubilee of Mercy announced by Pope Francis and due to begin on 8 December 2015.

Going on a pilgrimage with the Custody of the Holy Land means contributing to the Franciscan mission in the Holy Land. The great work carried on by the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land over the centuries has been made possible thanks to a network of structures all over the world which contribute to supporting the Christian presence in the Holy Land and the maintenance of the Holy Places.

Pilgrims Office in Rome

Via Berni 6, a short distance from Saint John Lateran 
tel: +39 06 77206308; 

Contact the Commissariats of the Holy Land

The Commissariats of the Holy Land, scattered all over the world, organize pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Find the Commissariat closest to you and contact him to book your departure for the Land of Jesus!


This section is dedicated to you who wish to visit the Holy Land. Here you will be able to find itineraries and proposals useful for planning you’re your pilgrimage. Our itineraries, not only cover the places that remind us of the presence of Jesus in this land, but they will also give you the possibility of knowing fragments of the long history of this country and discovering its thousand faces. Together with the Gospel references, we furnish in this section practical information on the ideal length of the journey, on the individual stages and places of the program. 

itinerari orme di gesù

In the footsteps of Jesus

Ideal period of stay: 9 days/ 8 nights “And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means leas among the rulers of Judah; Since from you shall come a ruler Who is to shepherd my people Israel”. (Matthew 2, 6)

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In the Holy Land following the Bible

Duration: 8 days-7 nights “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing”. Genesis 12, 2-5 

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The songs of my pilgrimage

Ideal duration: 10 days/9 nights "Thy statutes have been my songs  in the house of my pilgrimage." Psalm 119,54

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The Word became flesh

Ideal length of stay: 7 days  Blessed the man who finds refuge in you, in their hearts are pilgrim roads. [Psalm 84]

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The visit by pilgrims to the Custody

La visita dei pellegrini alla Custodia

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.

This encounter with the Franciscans, the custodians of the Holy Land, aims to help the reality of the Holy Land and the situation of the Christians, the living stones who live here, be understood better, by listening directly to the friars’ accounts. Groups normally meet the parish priests, all of whom are Franciscans, of the main Biblical Paces, but pilgrims, on a daily basis, also meet the friars who, on behalf of the Custody, officially receive the groups : at times this is necessary so that the pilgrims can be welcomed in their own language. Many of the meetings with the Custos, his Vicar and the friars of the Custody are held in Jerusalem, in particular at the convent of St. Saviour. 

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!

To organize your meeting, you can contact us at:

Jerusalem – St. Saviour
Franciscan Convent
St. Saviour's Monastery
P.O.B. 186
91001 Jerusalem
Tel.: +972 (02) 6266 561