Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thousands gather in Nazareth for Year of Faith event

Jerusalem patriarch urges continued efforts for peace
Nuns receive communion during the Mass for the closing of the Year of Faith
in Nazareth Nov. 17. (Photo: Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic)
The Year of Faith is almost at an end. Today in Nazareth, over 6,000 pilgrims, locals, religious people, and journalists celebrated Mass with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem days before the final ceremony in Rome Nov. 24.

“This is the end of the Year of Faith; I hope it is not the end of our faith,” joked Archbishop Fouad Twal of Jerusalem at a press conference after the event.

“From this day, we have to start with more peace, more good work, and more collaboration for the peace of everybody.”

Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, Europeans, and others worshipped side by side as the Mass was celebrated in a mix of Arabic, English, Hebrew, and Latin. Religious people in every colour of habit or cassock seemed to be in attendance, along with faithful of every age.

Pope Francis wrote a letter to those gathered in the Holy Land for the occasion, and it was read before Mass. “May your experience of the sacred sites be an occasion for encountering Jesus Christ and deepening your love for Him and for His Church,” he wrote.

“Though the Year of Faith is drawing to a close, I pray that your desire to know Jesus may grow and your love for him deepen.”
Archbishop Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, gives a homily
in Arabic. (Photo: Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic)

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