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

Published on Tuesday, 14 May 2024
Holy Land: Two sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition profess perpetual vows in Nazareth :

Two religious sisters from Iraq, Sr. Christina Botros and Sr. Anwar Na’ameh, of the sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition in the Holy Land, professed perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience on May 12, 2024, at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth.


His Beatitude Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, celebrated the Mass for the Rite of Perpetual Religious Profession. Concelebrating was Fr. Ibrahim Sabbagh, the parish priest of Nazareth, Mgr. Boulos-Marcuzzo, bishop emeritus, and several priests. Among the assembly were Sr. Valentina Sala, Provincial General of the sisters of St. Joseph, many religious sisters, and the faithful.


In his homily, Cardinal Pizzaballa pointed out the significance of this moment for the life of the Church: “From the city of Nazareth, the Virgin Mary was able to change the world’s fate by saying yes to God’s will. You too, the vows you make today, will greatly impact the Diocese of Jerusalem and the entire world, by both your service and prayers.” Reflecting on the Gospel reading of Jesus’ priestly prayer, His Beatitude expressed that this text has two important elements for the life of the believer, specifically the consecrated person: “The words of Jesus remind us that we are called not to serve ourselves. It also shows our call to unity, first as a Christian community, but also in our communities, and hearts. United to the will of God. Not allowing our business to distract us from this call to harmonious unity.” Finally, he reminded the sisters of the joy they need to embody to others, in their walk with God, which makes others wonder about the reason for this joy.


“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) This is the verse the sisters chose to celebrate this occasion in the place where these words were spoken. “I take this verse as my reference in living the consecrated life, and I repeat with the Virgin these words because God is my faithful shepherd,” said Sr. Anwar, 33 years old, and currently serving at St. Joseph School in Bethlehem, expressed her wish to sow a seed of love and faith in the hearts of the students: “The message I hope to spread to every student I meet is that despite the difficulty of Life, by having a kind simple and loving heart, we can solve many misunderstandings.” Meanwhile, Sr. Christina (46 years old) studied Theology and taught Christian religion in schools, then she made the decision to enter the monastery in 2013, served for 9 years in Lebanon, and now serves in a university housing for students in Jerusalem, where she provides Christian education and spiritual guidance for the girls. She says: “I grew up in a house practising the Catholic faith, and the church was an essential part of my life. I believe it's due to this that I decided to fully consecrate my life to God, desiring to serve others with joy and without discrimination.”


The congregation of Saint Joseph of the Apparition was founded in France in 1832 by Saint Emilie de Vialar. They arrived in the Holy Land in 1848, six months after the restoration of the Patriarchate in Jerusalem. They were entrusted with the educational mission in the Holy Land schools, which they continue to carry out in Jerusalem and Jaffa.