CHRISTMAS VISIT OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER TO THE FRANCISCAN CUSTODY OF THE HOLY LAND
As per the annual tradition of exchanging Christmas greetings, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, accompanied by a delegation from the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre visited the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, on Monday, December 27.
After a brief welcome, His Beatitude took the opportunity to express his deep appreciation to the Custos of the Holy City, Fr. Francesco Patton, who has been firmly committed to the joint efforts of the Church leaders to defend the Christian character of Jerusalem “at a time when this has been, and continues to be, under particular threat.”
His Beatitude noted: “You have raised awareness of the lack of respect that Christians endure at the hands of radical individuals and groups. We are also grateful to you for our joint steadfastness in maintaining our historic independence and autonomy of administration of the Holy Places and especially of the Holy Sepulchre which is always under threat.”
In his speech, Patriarch Theophilos not only wished the Custody a joyous season and a blessed feast, but also shed light on the recent campaign, which was led by the Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem, and took to international and local newspapers to raise awareness about the continuous threat of the Israeli radical, individuals and groups, to the Christian existence, particularly in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
His Beatitude added: “Your recent article in The Telegraph has made a huge impact, appearing as it did at the same time as articles by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop Hosam in other papers. This is precisely the concerted effort that we need to ensure that the pressing and serious issues that we face are kept before the international public.”
In return, Fr. Francesco Patton thanked the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Brotherhood for their visit, confirmed the continuous support of the Custody to the mission of the Church leaders in protecting the Christian character of the Holy City, and wished everyone a peaceful and blessed Christmas celebrations.
News and Photos by: Heba Hrimat.