EMMAUS - On Easter Monday, April 5, 2021, H.E. Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem, celebrated Holy Mass at the Basilica of the holy place of Emmaus, in presence of priests, Religious men and women and the faithful. The Mass was animated by the New Life Community Choir along with the Community of the Beatitudes, to whom this place has been entrusted since 1993.
Before the Mass, around 30 faithful participated in the annual pilgrimage, heading on foot from Jerusalem to Emmaus-Nicopolis, retracing the road traveled by the two disciples of Emmaus.
According to the Gospel of Luke, Emmaus is “about 7 miles from Jerusalem'' (Luke: 24-13), and is most likely the place where Jesus broke the bread with the Emmaus disciples according to the traditions of the church’s fathers, and considering morning time at which the two disciples probably left Jerusalem. Accordingly, the distance does not exactly corresponds to Emmaus-Nicopolis which is close to the Latroun monastery. However, in the 19th century and during a trip St. Mary of Jesus Crucified undertook to Nazareth, she had a vision a vision of the Lord who revealed to her the place where He had broken bread with the disciples, in which there are the ancient ruins of an early Christian basilica. The place was later bought by the benefactor Berthe Dartigaux for the Carmelites, becoming the property of the Carmelites of Bethlehem.
There are two other sites identified as dating back to ancient Emmaus, namely Al-Qubeibeh where traditionally the Custos of the Holy Land celebrates this feast, and Abu Ghosh which is located about 8 kilometers from Jerusalem and is called "Emmaus of the Crusaders".
H.E Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, who is the titular bishop of Emmaus-Nicopolis, focused during his homily on the virtue of hope in light of the difficult conditions the Holy Land and the rest of the world have been facing since the outbreak of Covid-19, saying “Christian hope does not disappoint -as Saint Paul says- for it is built upon the Christ’s Resurrection and the Holy Spirit”.
The land on which there are the archaeological remains of the ancient basilica of Emmaus-Nicopolis still belongs to the Carmelites of Bethlehem. The Community of the Beatitudes, residing in an adjacent house which is rented to them by the Fathers of Betharram, look after this Holy Place, and take care of the reception of the pilgrims.
Photos: ©Dmitry Ostrovsky