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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.

Cardinal Sandri asks for generosity in the collection for the Holy Land

2014-04-15

It's the land in where Jesus lived, preached, died... and rose again. But the birthplace of Christianity is running out of Christians, and gradually gets closer to becoming what Pope Paul VI called a "museum of stones.” To avoid that, every year the Catholic Church dedicates the collection on Good Friday to protect the Holy Places, and its population. In particular, it aims to improve the lives of Christians living in the land of Jesus.

CARD. LEONARDO SANDRI
Prefect, Congregation for the Oriental Churches
"Among the recipients, I would like to highlight, especially at this time, the institute for deaf people called 'Effetá,' which is in Bethlehem and was created by Paul VI during his visit to the Holy Land in 1964, 50 years ago. FLASH. Also, Bethlehem University, run by the Brothers of the Christian Schools. It's open to everyone, not only Christians, but to all people.”

The main goal of initiatives like these is to promote progress in the area, as well as to encourage Christians to stay in the Holy Land. For Cardinal Sandri, if Christians had the chance to move freely in the area, and to visit the Holy Places regularly, their faith would strengthen.

CARD. LEONARDO SANDRI
Prefect, Congregation for the Oriental Churches
"The greatest hardships are sometimes related to the topic of mobility, access to the Holy Places, without problems. FLASH I think reasonable safety measures must go hand in hand with greater freedom of movement for everyone. And I think that would be very important so that the country is not divided.”

Among these hardships, there are signs of hope. The main one is Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the Holy Land in May.

CARD. LEONARDO SANDRI
Prefect, Congregation for the Oriental Churches
"Visits like the Pope's are always a call to reconciliation and peace.” FLASH "They're looking forward to it, as if it were a visit from their father. He is a father, of course, but mostly, a friend; someone who brings the consolation of God and His peace to Jerusalem and the world.”

The Pope will travel to the Holy Land from May 24 to 26. He will visit Amman, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, where he'll go to a refugee camp and will have lunch with Palestinian families.


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