Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Friday, 14 June 2024
Cardinal Matteo Zuppi pays a solidarity visit to the Holy Land

Nicola Hazboun and Miral Atik/ :

On Thursday, June 13, 2024, His Beatitude. Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and Archbishop of Bologna, presided at a Holy Mass at the Basilica of the Agony, Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives, opening the pilgrimage of Communion and peace to the Holy Land. 


Over 160 pilgrims from Bologna and other parts of Italy made their way to the Holy Land to pray for peace with the Christian communities of the Patriarchate. “Peace be with you!” is the title of the pilgrimage proposed by the Church of Bologna, which will last until Sunday, June 16, led by Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, and organized by Msgr. Stefano Ottani, vicar General for Synodality.


Cardinal Pizzaballa first welcomed all the pilgrims and thanked them for coming to the Holy Land in these difficult times.  He pointed out that their visit comes at a time when the different communities in the Holy Land are closing in on themselves instead of working to reach a just and comprehensive agreement, and this is what this solidarity visit to the Holy Land calls for. In his homily, Cardinal Pizzaballa highlighted the significance of their celebration of the Mass in the Church of Gethsemane, which witnessed the greatest betrayal in history, but also expresses the place and event of complete trust in God, where Jesus said: "Not my will, but yours be done." May the Church of the Holy Land, despite our different liturgies, and traditions, exemplify God's will in this land. And doing God's will means working together for the greater good of all, to spread life”.


He also noted that since the war began, he started visiting the different parishes of the Holy Land  “to make them feel and know our proximity to them, but I felt the spirit of fear and insecurity that prevails in our community, especially the fear of the other in these circumstances we are going through. Therefore, we must not forget our past efforts, where we sought peace, not closing up on one another, but rather work together for a better future and society, in which we live side by side, in peace and justice”.


Among the pilgrims was a group of young adults from the international peace movement known as Giovani delle Acli , who expressed saying: “Peace is desired by all but begins from one’s own choice to be active citizens of peace, hence, we came to represent our desire for peace among the communities of this land”.