- I would like to extend my cordial greetings in the name of the Custody of the Holy Land and also in the name of the Association Pro Terra Sancta to all the Authorities gathered for this occasion. I would also like to express my thanks for their presence and for the support given to the realisation of the Dar El Majus Centre here in Bethlehem, the city of Christmas and for this reason also the City of the Magi.
Welcome and thanks to:
- all the Religious and Civil Authorities;
- all the donors and those who have worked to accomplish this new and beautiful Centre.
- Permit me now to illustrate briefly the value of this social initiative for the Custody of the Holy Land and for the Association Pro Terra Sancta. We ask: why is it so important that this new Cultural Centre be dedicated to the Magi here in Bethlehem?
I think that there are three main reasons:
The first reason is connected to the history of this special and unique City. As I have already said, this is the city in which the Magi were able to find the Child Jesus, to worship Him and to offer their best gifts to the Son of God, to the King of Kings and to the One who came into the world to give His life for us. This Centre should help local people, tourists and pilgrims to appreciate wisdom, knowledge and culture. Today many people prefer richness, strength and power. The three Magi indicate to us that richness, strength and power with wisdom, knowledge and culture generate a mentality of giving, sharing and self-giving, without wisdom, knowledge and culture, richness, strength and power are dangerous.
Secondly, it is very important to know and imitate the attitude of the Magi which is not only to search for the truth but also to give and offer the best of our goods to the others. The Custody of the Holy Land, particularly through the Association Pro Terra Sancta is trying to implement the mentality of giving, creating connections between the generosity of donors and the needs of the local community. The Centre we are opening today is an example, the support to the schools is another one, and the help given to migrants and refugees is a third one. We are trying to implement the culture of giving not only here but also in the Countries surrounding the Holy Land and affected by wars and – consequently – political, economic and social crises.
The third reason of the importance of this Centre is that all the visitors who will come to this Centre should become like the Magi who visited Bethlehem and found the Child Jesus: they went back to their Country and announced how great and beautiful their experience was. We hope and pray that those who will visit this place will also go back to their countries carrying in their hearts a special experience and will in turn become ambassadors of this City, of its beauty and of its values.
- In the name of the Custody of the Holy Land I would like to extend my best wishes, especially to young people and to all who will come to this Centre in search of wisdom, with open hearts enabling them to generate hope.
In the name of the Custody of the Holy Land, may I offer my thanks once more to all those who have made it possible to realise this Centre. My best wishes to all those who will be its leaders and who will benefit from it. May you grow daily in making good use of this centre to the benefit of all who visit it.
God bless you all!