Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:10-12
Those words, spoken by an angel of the Lord to a group of Shepherds, heralded the birth of the son of God. For centuries ever since, people have traveled far and wide to visit the birthplace of our savior Christ Jesus.
During Advent, a time of joyful hope and remembrance, Christians reflect on the wonder of Jesus’ birthplace and worship together. As the crowds in Bethlehem gather to celebrate the beginning of Advent, Christians around the world join in spirit preparing to receive the Prince of Peace. We open our hearts to welcome God’s greatest gift, Jesus Christ.
The birthplace of our Lord and Savior, the Holy Land, holds a special meaning not just during the Christmas season, but at all times of the year. For this is the land that Jesus called home and brought the Word of God to life. What should be a joyous celebration is marred by the escalating strife and turmoil that exists year round driving many resident Christians out of the Holy Land. This once sacred place of refuge for Mary and Joseph represents an untenable living environment for Christians.
Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land is committed to doing everything possible to reverse the discrimination and provide Christians the opportunity to receive a quality education, learn a trade, earn stable employment, and find suitable housing. With your help we can continue to offer programs and services to our Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. Your generosity allows us to preserve Christianity in its birthplace and restore faith in the hearts of many.
Yours in Christ,
-Fr. Peter F. Vasko, OFM
Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land