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GALILEE – On Sunday, January 29, 2017, the feast of the Beatitudes was celebrated with the faithful coming together on Mount of Beatitudes for the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate.

the Mass was also concelebrated by Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Nuncio in Israel; Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Israel; Maronite Archbishop Moussa El-Hage, with a number of Latin Patriarchate priests.  Many religious men and women along with about 600 faithful, the majority of whom came from Galilee. The faithful from Bethlehem were unable to participate in the celebration as they were not issued permits by the Israeli authorities.

In his homily in Arabic, Bishop Marcuzzo spoke about a new revolution of evangelization which represents the new human order. He pointed out that this revolution becomes a reality through God’s grace with collaboration among the faithful, within and with the local and universal churches. It also requires great human involvement, of possessing a pure heart and fervent sentiments. “The Christian calling should swim against the tide in order for the faithful to become a new human being and witness for a new world and values” he added.

Reiterating the message of Pope Francis to the youth and religious men and women, the Patriarchal Vicar urged everyone to be revolutionaries, arming themselves with Christian values.

The celebration concluded with a fraternal meal prepared by the Franciscan sisters, with over 200 invited guests.

The feast day of the Beatitudes is celebrated every year on the last Sunday of January. This has become a tradition for the Christians in Galilee, an initiative following the Pastoral Synod of the Churches of the Holy Land for the purpose of bringing the local communities closer at the holy places. The community remains keenly aware of its role as protector of the Holy Place, and can thus fulfill its historical responsibility before the Church.

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