20 April 2017

Easter greetings between Greeks-Orthodox and Franciscans in the Holy City

In Jerusalem, the leaders of the eastern and western churches met for the traditional 'Easter greetings'.

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After the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord that took place on the same day for both the Western and Eastern Churches, Catholics and Orthodox gathered together for the traditional 'Easter greetings' in the Holy City. One of the meetings was held in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.

H.B. THEOPHILUS III
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
"Easter is a very special day, especially this year because it fell on the same day for both the Western and the Oriental churches. And Easter was even more joyous this year because all Christians joined their voices together.... this is very important, especially these days, when the world (particularly the Middle East) is going through such a difficult time."

Mons. PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA, ofm
Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
"Despite the shadow of death that we saw in Egypt, in Tanta, in Alexandria, and in other parts of the world, here, a joyful hope lives in our hearts. It is always nice when all the churches gather together and we all can share our experiences. I wish we could enjoy this celebration not only once a year, but every day of the year.”

The Easter message for the year 2017 from the leaders of the churches of Jerusalem was: "We Patriarchs and leaders of the churches of Jerusalem proclaim all together the triumphal victory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, resurrected from the dead. The Easter message, inaugurated in Jerusalem and which resounds in the centuries, still rings in Jerusalem, the city of resurrection.”

H.B. THEOPHILUS III
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
"We believe that the meaning and the power of Easter rely on the strength of the Cross, the cross that crushed all the power of the devil with the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Hope is instilled in our hearts by the Resurrection and it gives us strength and courage.”

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
"The meaning of these greetings is that we all share the same faith in Jesus Christ and in the Holy Trinity. It is a way through which we can cultivate our fraternal relationship with other Christian communities. There is this weird idea (out there in the world) that Christians are in conflict with each other, but this is not true. Here, we have a good and fraternal relationship between the various communities. It is very important for local people and for local Christians to be aware of the privilege they have, because they live in the same places where our Lord Jesus Christ lived, where He gave His life for us.”

One of the gatherings took place in the Custody of the Holy Land, where a delegation from the Greek Orthodox Patriarch offered the Custos, Father Francesco Patton, their Easter greetings. Among the topics discussed was the cooperation between Christian communities to give continuity to the restoration work of the Edicule of Holy Sepulcher.

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
"This is the first time I celebrate Easter in Jerusalem and I understand very well how important it is to celebrate here, in different places, the mysteries of our faith, like Jesus' mystery of the Washing of His disciples' feet, here in Jerusalem, like the Last Supper, the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Victory here in the Holy Sepulcher."