Abraham's House: hospitality lived in faith, hope and charity

By: lpj.org - Published: October 08 Sat, 2022

Abraham's House: hospitality lived in faith, hope and charity Available in the following languages:

JERUSALEM - On Saturday October 8th, 2022, the eve of St. Abraham's Day, the Prophet's birthday and just before Sukkot, Abraham's House welcomed many religious people, pilgrims, friends and neighbors for a festive celebration where the three great Abrahamic religions were represented, in friendship and trust. An opportunity to salute the magnificent work accomplished by this institution created by St Paul VI nearly 60 years ago, today managed by the Secours Catholique - Caritas France.

Mgr William Shomali, General Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate, presided over the Mass, which was celebrated in front of the walls of Jerusalem, and cocelebrated by Mgr Boulos Marcuzzo, bishop emeritus. 
Mgr Thomasz Grysa and Fr. Natale Albino, Chargé d'Affaires and Secretary of the Nunciature in Israel and of the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem, were also present. 

Many religious men and women were also here to celebrate this great feast and to pay tribute to the work accomplished by the director of the Abraham's House and his wife, so that this place can assume its vocation in all its dimensions.

The Consul General of France, Mr. René Troccaz, accompanied by Fr. Luc Pareydt, was also present, as was the Consul of Mexico, Mr. Pedro Blanco Perez.

In his homily, Mgr Shomali encouraged the assembly to follow the example of Abraham, to continue to believe and to hope, because God always keeps his promises, beyond our expectations, even if God's time is not the time of men. With gentleness and simplicity, he also encouraged everyone to continue to implore the Lord for peace, especially here in the Holy Land, so that the Lord may bring about more love between these two peoples and three religions.

At the end of the celebration, the assembly moved towards a large photographic reproduction of an icon created by a Benedictine Sister of Mount of Olives, Sr. Marie-Paule (1930-2019), representing the Hospitality of Abraham. After a brief reminder of the life of Sr. Marie-Paule and the reading of the book of Genesis where Abraham, under the oak of Mambré, welcomes three mysterious visitors, Mgr Shomali blessed the reproduction of the icon, which will henceforth welcome all visitors to Abraham's House. 

Following the example of its patron saint, Abraham's House aims to welcome pilgrims of the three great Abrahamic religions to Jerusalem, regardless of their nationality or resources. For Bernard Thibaud, director of the place, offering people in very precarious situations the possibility of satisfying a spiritual desire contributes to restoring their dignity and is fully in line with the notion of integral human development. 

In addition to the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation of Tours, seven volunteers take turns each month to welcome these groups of pilgrims. All of them testify to the profound change in their lives that this experience brings and many of them repeat this service afterwards. 

During the pandemic, it was impossible to welcome pilgrims. Abraham's House thus quickly diversified its activities, forging close links with many local associations, organising craft exhibitions, iftars, youth camps, seminars and thematic evenings, always in a spirit of welcome and openness, offering everyone the possibility of meeting in a magnificent and convivial place, in the heart of the Holy City. Offering much more than accommodation close to the Holy Places, it is for many of us, truly, a place of "encounter".