The light that defeats darkness: a message from Mt Tabor

The light that defeats darkness: the message of the Franciscans from Tabor

On 16 April, the Franciscans from all the convents in Galilee, met at Tabor for the fraternal visit of the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, fra Massimo Fusarelli, to the Custody of the Holy Land.

A hymn to the light of God which defeats the darkness of evil. This is the message that comes from Mount Tabor, the place where, according to tradition, Jesus was transfigured before the disciples Peter, James and John.

Here, on 16 April, the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land from all the convents of Galilee, met for the fraternal visit of the General Minister of the Order of Friars Minor,  fra Massimo Fusarelli, to the Custody of the Holy Land. The Custos of the Holy Land, fra Francesco Patton, was also present. On the same day, the exhibition “LuxTenebra” for the centenary of the dedication of the basilica was also inaugurated.

Light and darkness

The Minister General and his Vicar, fra Ignacio Ceja Jiménez, had a short meeting with the friars in the afternoon. Fra Massimo talked briefly about his recent visits to other Provinces of the Order. In the year the Franciscans are celebrating the anniversary of the gift of the stigmata to St Francis of Assisi, 800 years ago, the Minister General recalled the many communities of the order “present in the wounded places of today’s humanity” and invited the friars of the Custody to “remain in this land which bears so many stigmata to respond to our charism.”

The Minister General then presided over the Mass in the Basilica of the Transfiguration.  In his homily, he insisted on the tension between light and darkness, experienced by Francis of Assisi himself and who “in Christ Risen finds his solution.” “O almighty and glorious God, illuminate the darkness of my heart,” was the prayer of St Francis before the crucifix of St Damian.

Cutting the ribbon

After the Mass, the exhibition on the basilica of the Transfiguration, which will be visible at the same basilica until the end of the closure of the  centenary, was inaugurated. Fra Alessandro Coniglio, President of the Scientific Committee for the centenary and the architect Vincenzo Zuppardo, curator of the exhibition, illustrated the project, Then the ribbon was cut.

“Going down from this mountain,” the Minister General said, “I invite you to continue on this path of light in the darkness of history, knowing that the Lord Risen has defeated our darkness and His light is making its way amongst men and in the world.”

At the end of the celebration, the Minister General planted an olive tree which will be moved to the nearby convent of St Gabriel Archangel in Mujeidel, 120 years after its foundation.

The shrines of the sea

In the morning, the Minister General had visited the communities of Magdala, Tabga and Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee. Fra Massimo was accompanied by the Vicar General, the Custos of the Holy Land and the Custodial Vicar, and some friars of the Custody’s governance. The Visitator General of the Custody of the Holy Land, fra Alojzy Warot, and the Assistant Visitator, fra Marcello Ghirlando, were also present. They are appointed to accompany the Franciscans of the Custody until the 2025 General Chapter.

Marinella Bandini