The Epiphany of the Lord celebrated in Bethlehem

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The Epiphany of the Lord celebrated in Bethlehem

cmc-terrasanta.org

On Sunday, January 6, while in the Manger Square, the Christmas celebrations of the Eastern Churches began, the Roman Catholics celebrated the Epiphany of our Lord inside the Church of St. Catherine, in the complex of the Basilica of the Nativity.

During the morning, Custos of the Holy Land Fr. Francesco Patton presided at the Mass for hundreds of local Christians, pilgrims and Franciscans.

The homily was presented in Arabic by Fr. Imad Kamel, who recalled that the Magi represent all of humanity, because Christ came as savior to the whole world. The Franciscan also explained the meaning of the gifts that the Three Wise Men presented to the Baby Jesus. Gold, reserved only for kings, incense as a sign of their recognition of Jesus as the son of God and myrrh, the remedy for the fulfillment of the prophecy that the Lord would give himself for us.

Fr. RAMI ASAKRIEH, ofm Parish of Bethlehem, said, "In the midst of everything that happens outside, like political and economic instability, it may seem that the Christmas celebrations, of the joy that Jesus brought, is disappearing, but it's not like that! The number of pilgrims was much superior this year than that of previous years, a sign that the joy of Christmas and the message of this place continue. The victory of love continues! And living Christmas and the Epiphany in this place is a grace!"

Vespers were conducted by the Franciscans in the early afternoon, a moment that ended with the traditional procession to the Grotto where the Baby Jesus was born. The Magi-- Melchior, Balthasar and Gaspar--were represented!

After praying in the holy place, the friars came out with the figurine of the Baby Jesus and solemnly walked the rooms adjacent to the church.

The celebrations of the Epiphany began on Saturday, JANUARY 7, with the solemn entrance of the Custos of the Holy Land into Bethlehem.

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, OFM Custos of the Holy Land, said, "It is not a solemnity dedicated to the person, but the tribute that the person who enters together with the community which he represents, makes the celebration that is celebrated; in this case, given that today is the Epiphany, our solemn entry is, in reality, like the procession of the Magi who came to worship Jesus ".

After being welcomed by religious and civil authorities, the Custos went through the door of humility and led the prayer of the first vespers.

Fr. RAMI ASAKRIEH, ofm Parish of Bethlehem said, "On the feast of the Epiphany, the feast of light, we welcome the Custos of the Holy Land, we welcome him and thank him for his presence and for the works that the Custody realizes in Bethlehem, especially for the stones of the church, the living stones, and this is the light of Christ that continues to shine in Bethlehem."

The same God, who led the Magi to this place, leads His children today in the contemplation of the greatness of his glory.

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 12:48
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