Pope Francis sends Easter letter to Catholics in the Holy Land

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Two fathers—one from Israel and one from Palestine—who lost their daughters in the conflict in the Holy Land traveled to Rome to meet with Pope Francis.

-Please continue to pray for peace.
If we can be brothers, everyone can be.

Following this meeting, the Pope continued to call attention to the people in the Holy Land. He released a letter to all the Catholics in that region in the days leading up to Easter. He writes:

I embrace all of you, in the various rites, dear Catholic faithful living throughout the Holy Land. In a particular way, I embrace those most affected by the senseless tragedy of war: the children robbed of their future, those who grieve and are in pain, and all who find themselves prey to anguish and dismay.

Due to the ongoing violence, Holy Week celebrations in Jerusalem will have a different atmosphere this year. But the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem highlighted the importance of continuing to have a Christian presence there.

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

You cannot think of Jerusalem without Christians; you cannot think of the Holy Land without the Christian presence. From the very beginning, from the time of Jesus, we have always found ourselves here, in the places to make memory of the very life of Jesus, of his witness, especially the Church in Jerusalem and we will have an Easter witness.

In 1974, Pope Paul VI released an apostolic exhortation entitled, Nobis in Animo. It established Good Friday as the day parishes around the world donate to the Vatican's Collection for the Holy Land. Its goal is to support the Christians living in the region. And the focus for this Easter is the urgent need for humanitarian aid.

65% of the donations go to the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, who have been in charge of protecting and preserving the holy sites in the region for more than 800 years. The remaining 35% of the money is donated to the Dicastery for Eastern Churches to aid priests and seminarians.


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