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New Custodian of the Holy Land

May 20, 2016. Friar Francesco Patton is the new Custodian of the Holy Land. He succeeds Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who was in office for the last 12 years. Friar Francesco Patton is 52 years old from Vigo Meano (Italy). He graduated in Communication Sciences from the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome and until now was the provincial minister of the Order of Friars Minor in Saint Vigilius of Trent.

Lebanese Catholics see new cardinal as symbol of unity in Middle East

2012-11-26

MAURICE BACHIR
Lebanese Visitor
"I think I'm one of the lucky ones who got the chance to see the ceremony. It's an honor to be here and it's something to be done once in a lifetime.”

More than 500 Lebanese, including President Michel Suleiman, witnessed the ceremony, where the Pope handed the Patriarch his ring and a round biretta, special only to the Maronite rite of the Catholic Church.

The decision by Benedict XVI to create another cardinal from Lebanon sends an important message, they say. 

MAURICE BACHIR
Lebanese Visitor
"It's a message of peace. It's a message of what Jesus our lord commanded, that we love each and everyone like our brothers.”

The message goes beyond borders, and across religions. It plays out every day across multiethnic and multi-religious Lebanon.

MAURICE BACHIR
Lebanese Visitor
"I believe that Lebanon, as the Pope John Paul II said, it's more than a country, it's a message. It's a live example of how we live together. 18 different religions, we live together side by side.”

The Pope has taken special interest in the region. Rai's creation as cardinal comes two months after Benedict XVI visited the Land of Cedars.


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