06 January 2017

Epiphany of the Lord: guided by the star, they arrived in Bethlehem

In Bethlehem, the faithful and the Franciscan community celebrated the Epiphany of the Lord, remembering the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus.

Liturgies

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Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. The wise men from the Nativity Scene played a key role in the birth of Jesus. Arrived from different parts of the world, they received the revelation that the child was the Messiah, the savior.

This manifestation or epiphany is commemorated on January 6 or on the second Sunday after Christmas. In Bethlehem, the Feast was celebrated by the Franciscan community and the local Christians in the Church of St. Catherine, adjacent to the Basilica of the Nativity.

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
"The feast of the Epiphany is a wonderful celebration, because it is the manifestation of the Child Jesus through those who bring together the whole of humanity into one family: all the peoples of the earth who come to worship Him. They bring the most precious gifts: gold in recognition of His being king, incense in recognition of His being God and myrrh in recognition of His coming to give His life for us."

On the eve of Epiphany, the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, made the traditional solemn entry into the city of Bethlehem. In the square of the manger, he was welcomed by several groups of scouts and by the civil and religious authorities.

The entry concluded with a liturgical ceremony celebrated by the Franciscans.

In the afternoon, the first vespers were recited in the church of St. Catherine.

The Franciscans and the faithful went in procession from the Latin parish to the Grotto of the Nativity.

On the notes of the Canticle of Mary, the 'Magnificat' in Latin, the keeper censed the star, sign of Jesus' birth, as well as the site where He was laid in the manger.

Each year, the celebration repeats the gesture of those scholars of astronomy, who, guided by the star, found and worshiped the Savior.

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
"We represent the 'wise men' who are sent from Bethlehem to announce to all of humanity that the Savior is born and that our lives have been transformed, to announce that we must do our part, we must work to ensure that the Peace that He came to bring us becomes real and tangible in our world and in our history. "

AYDA HAZBOUN
Christian woman - Bethlehem
"Every year we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany in Bethlehem and we welcome the Custos of the Holy Land. We believe the Child Jesus is present in every heart that turns into a manger to receive Him. "