04 October 2017

Celebrating the feast of St. Francis in the Holy City

This year in Jerusalem, the anniversary of Saint Francis of Assisi had a special touch, thanks to the commemoration of the 800 years since the arrival of the Franciscans in the Holy Land.

Liturgies

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The celebrations of the Solemnity of St. Francis took place in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

In the Church of St. Savior, the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, presided the celebration of the Transition that commemorates Francis' death.

Addressing the friars in particular, the Custos re-evoked the call to imitate Francis, embracing the trust in God with an Easter attitude.

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
"Saint Francis reminds us that our life is already offered and delivered into the hands of God and that we must therefore live our whole existence with an Easter attitude and know that, even though on the way of life we may encounter difficulties and at some point we may even inevitably encounter death, the ultimate goal is eternal life and full participation in God's true life.”

As a sign of the fact that Francis' charisma is more contemporary than ever, ten young people from eight different nationalities have renewed their profession of life in the Order of Friars Minor.

Br. PAULO PAULISTA
Order of Friars Minor
"It's a good thing to renew our vows. Next year, I will make the solemn vows in this community, this fraternity that takes care of us, of our formation, of our path of preparation for our mission in the Holy Land and in the custody of the holy places.”

Following an ancient tradition, the solemn mass in honor of St. Francis was presided over by the Prior of the Dominican Convent of St. Stephen of Jerusalem, Father Martin Satszak.

The devotion of the saint of the poor has very ancient origins.

The homily was held by Father Jean Jacques Pérennès. The priest recalled the common features between Saint Dominic and Saint Francis and between the charisms of the two mendicant orders founded by them.

Fr. JEAN JACQUES PÉRENNÈS, op
Director of the “École biblique” - Jerusalem
"First of all, this year we are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Franciscan presence in the Holy Land. Last year, we Dominicans also celebrated the 800 Jubilee of the Order. Therefore, my wishes for the Franciscans in the Holy Land include a year of dynamism and evangelical renewal.”

God, in the figure of the seraphic, poor and humble Saint Francis, tendered a living image of Christ to yesterday's and to today's Church.