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JERUSALEM – On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land, visited the Latin Patriarchate, accompanied by a delegation of Friars to convey his and the Custody’s Easter wishes.  

The Custos was received by the Apostolic Administrator, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, himself the former Custos for twelve years. Father Patton was accompanied by Franciscan Friars, among them Fr. Dobromir Jaztal, Custodian Vicar.

Two speeches highlighted the particularly fraternal  encounter according to the custom of the solemn greetings for Easter. Speaking first, Father Patton assured Archbishop Pizzaballa “of the closeness, collaboration and prayer” of the brothers of the Custody for his mission. Referring to the message of Easter and the empty Tomb, the Custos recalled “Mary Magdalene’s stupor and surprise that is ours today.”

“The empty Sepulcher is a quiet sign, a physical testimony, of victory over death”, assured the Custos, while evoking the admirable work of restoration of the recently inaugurated Edicule.

“Easter, however, cannot make us forget the many sufferings of our peoples”, he added, echoing the tragic news of the region. “The light of Easter” will still have the last word, concluded the Custos by quoting the Exultet, which will resonate in a few days in the Basilica of the Resurrection.

In his response (full text in Italian), Archbishop Pizzaballa emphasized how “we need to become a new Creation in this city where everything seems to be repeated and crystallized, where fear of the new, or the other, prevails over  the trust and the gift “. The Archbishop thanked the Custody” on behalf of the whole Church” for its “valuable service of prayer and intercession, day and night, which from the holy city rises for the entire universal Church to the Father of mercies “, as well as for its “service to pilgrims from around the world “. The Apostolic Administrator, referring to this “swarm of life and people about to transform the Holy City” in the coming days, also mentioned  “the joy and grace of being here” in Jerusalem, where it all happened.

Myriam Ambroselli

Pictures : © Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

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