JERUSALEM – On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, the last day of the month of Mary, the Latin parish of Jerusalem held a procession in the streets of the Old City to honor the Blessed Virgin.
The faithful first gathered for Mass in the Parish of Saint Saviour in the Custody of the Holy Land, to close the month of Mary. Mass was celebrated by Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land and in the presence of Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Archbishop Pizzaballa officiated the traditional procession that followed through the streets of the Old City.
The procession was led by the Scouts and followed by the statue of the Virgin Mary borne by nine young girls veiled and dressed in white, in homage to the Mother of God. First stop was in the courtyard of Freres College where a rosary-shaped balloon was released. The statue of the Virgin Mary preceded Archbishop Pizzaballa, who himself carried an icon of the Virgin that everyone could venerate. The procession proceeded to the Latin Patriarchate Co-Cathedral for prayers, then returned to the courtyard of the Convent of St. Savior where the Archbishop bestowed the final blessing.
It is not only in Jerusalem that this procession is held. The Virgin Mary is specially revered by all Eastern Christians who take part in several opportunities to show their love for her.
Many cities in the Holy Land have processions, like Bethlehem and Beit Sahour in Palestine, Naour in Jordan and many others, to celebrate the Blessed Virgin in a spirit of communion and spirituality.