Fra Ibrahim Faltas: the Custody’s humanitarian commitment to aid for the children of Gaza

Fra Ibrahim Faltas: the Custody’s humanitarian commitment to aid for the children of Gaza

The Custody of the Holy Land continues to support the humanitarian mission for the children of Gaza through the action of its Vicar, Fra Ibrahim Faltas

In the tragic scenario of Gaza, the Custody of the Holy Land, through the commitment and the zeal of Fra Ibrahim Faltas, Vicar of the Custody, remains in the front line in the humanitarian mission for the children of Gaza.

Fr. Ibrahim has just returned from Rome, where only a few hours ago he was able to welcome  more ill children from Gaza who have been taken into Italian hospitals for medical care, through the humanitarian channels activated by the Italian Ministries of the Defence and of Foreign Affairs and other associations involved in this delicate mission.

“Together with General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo and the Governor of the Lazio region, Francesco Rocca, I was able to welcome, another group of children at Ciampino airport who arrived from Gaza via Egypt with an Air Force flight. In all 45 people  (children and those accompanying them), who join the 111 who were already here. These children include some who are very ill and need urgent treatment,” said the Vicar.

Italy’s solidarity and the aid it has offered

The humanitarian commitment of the Custody of the Holy Land to provide concrete aid joined the race for solidarity in which many Italian hospitals have taken part and supported.

“The children,” Fra Faltas continued, “have been taken to the Rizzoli Hospital in Bologna, the Meyer Paediatric Hospital in Florence, while in Rome, they are treated at the Bambin Gesù. I personally went to visit them this week: for some of them their wounds have been treated and have often healed but for others amputations and splinters are painful signs in their bodies that they will have for their whole lifetime. Their visible and invisible traumas are lightened by the Italian doctors and healthcare personnel. I have had confirmation everywhere that the generosity and the heart of Italy and of the Italians have restored confidence and hope in the future to these suffering children.”

On his visit to Bologna, Fra Ibrahim was accompanied by Roberto Cetera, the correspondent of L’Osservatore Romano: “What the Custody is doing through its vicar,” stressed the journalist,  “is without the shadow of a doubt one of the most important humanitarian initiatives that has started in Europe since the beginning of the conflict. We have to hope that other countries can join in these actions of support and aid.”

I thank God for all the signs of faith,  hope and charity that I encounter on my journey,” Fra Faltas also confesses, “but we have to ask for even greater commitment to searching for the precious asset of peace. Pope Francis asks for it with his incessant calls. We are all involved and responsible because peace requires the courage to overcome every difficulty, every incomprehension and every hurdle.”

The commitment of the Custody of the Holy Land in the words of Fra Francesco Patton

In the midst of all the difficulties caused by the conflict, this is one of the many actions implemented by the Custody of the Holy Land: concrete and tangible support that joins the daily commitment of the friars of the Custody in looking after the holy places, in education, in social work such as homes for the elderly and for young families, clinics and dispensaries and in human promotion through the creation of jobs.

“For the Custody,” Fra Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, added, “this complex movement of children from Gaza to Italian hospitals is of exemplary value: it is proof that doing good is possible when several subjects who try to cooperate to relieve the suffering of children and the most fragile unite to work together. What has happened for the children of Gaza is proof that  it is always possible for work for peace and for the good of people. It is what Christians do, we must not forget the words of Jesus “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25,40).

Silvia Giuliano