Franciscan Friars offer housing to encourage living stones to stay in the Land of Jesus

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A view of Bethlehem

Franciscan Friars offer housing to encourage living stones to stay in the Land of Jesus

custodia.org

In the middle of the 20th century, the Custody of the Holy Land offered "bread and oil" in its parishes as a daily help. Today, due to the different needs of the population, providing housing or shelter for a dignified life has become a way to keep the Christian presence in the Holy Land alive.

The Custody of the Holy Land offers more than 582 houses in Jerusalem inside and outside the Old City, as well as 72 houses in Bethlehem, providing accommodation for a total of about 2,050 people. To date, there are over 700 requests for housing, of which at least 250 are urgent.

The Holy Land is blessed by the presence and mission of the Franciscan Friars. Mercy, support for the poor and the needy as well as providing housing for the living stones who live in difficult conditions are a concrete help to maintain the Christian presence in the Land of Jesus.

The Franciscan friars in the Holy Land not only guard and preserve the Stones of these places, but they also take care of the living stones, that is, the local Christians, especially those who find themselves in conditions of hardship. An example of this commitment is the House of the Child in Bethlehem, founded in 2007, which today welcomes more than 24 children and teenagers who find themselves in particular conditions of social distress.

Joseph Sayeh, an inhabitant of Bethlehem says: "My house is very small, there is no space... what can I say? My father is sick, he has many health problems and does not work. Thank God my mother has recently found a job. Our house is very small and we don't fit in it all together, but thank God we eat, drink and we are alive."

Graziella Qamar, an inhabitant of the Old City of Jerusalem, says: "This house is my whole life. This house is a special place for me, and I could never leave it. My son Musa has repeatedly tried to convince me to go and live abroad, but I have always responded with an absolute refusal."

She adds, "They do not take a penny from us and do not come to ask us to leave the house. More than 20 families live in this property, none of them pay rent. The Custody has renovated many houses. I have been here since 1961 and the Franciscan Friars have not asked me to pay the rent. God bless the Friars for what they offer people."

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 11:18
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