On the sixth centenary of the establishment of the Commissars of the Holy Land on 14 February 1421, by Pope Martin V, the Holy Father has sent a signed letter to the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton, to “support and bless this precious service.” Fr. Patton replied to Pope Francis’s message, dated 2 February, the next day, in which he informed the Holy Father of the intention to celebrate a Mass at the Edicule of the Sepulchre in Jerusalem on 15 February at 6.30 in the morning, in memory of all the benefactors and to give thanks for the work of the Commissars. On that occasion, the Custos will read the signed message from the Holy Father and all the friars will offer special prayers for Pope Francis and for His ministry.
“We thank you most sincerely for your words of confirmation and encouragement,” Fr. Patton wrote. “Thank you for your support and for your blessing. We also thank you for all the support you give us through the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and its Prefect, His Eminence Cardinal Leonardo Sandri. Expressing all our gratitude to you, we wish to show you once again our filial affection and our obedience with our most devoted feelings.”
Pope Francis’s letter is shown below:
The Vatican, 2 February 2021
Next 14 February will be the 600th anniversary of the establishment of the Commissars of the Holy Land by Pope Martin V.
After all these centuries, the mission of the Commissars is still topical: to support, promote and develop the mission of the Custody of the Holy Land, making possible a network of ecclesiastical, spiritual and charitable relations that have as their focal point the land where Jesus lived.
I support and bless this precious service and I hope that it can increasingly be a seed of fraternity.
I bless all with my heart and, please do not forget to pray for me.