(The Custodia) On Saturday, June 18, the Father Custos, Br. Francesco Patton, made his solemn entry into Nazareth.
Shortly before his arrival, scouts, young and old, were ready for the ceremony. Many friars from various religious communities, as well as parishioners and faithful, were present.
After the Custos was welcomed by Br. Amjad Sabbara, OFM, the pastor of the Latin parish, well wishes by representatives of the various churches and mosques in Nazareth followed. The procession walked to the rhythm of the scouts’ drumming and the choir’s singing. The Custos and the entire crowd ended up at the holy door of the Basilica of the Annunciation, where the Father Custos was greeted by the monastery guardian, Br. Bruno Varriano.
After a few words by the monastery guardian, the Father Custos thanked the crowd that had come to welcome him. Around the grotto of the Annunciation, participation was high and everyone seemed very attentive.
“It is a great joy to be with you today in the place where the Virgin Mary was called to become the Mother of God,“ began the Custos. It is here that the Eternal Word was made flesh. God is the first to take the initiative […] for Him, nothing is impossible. He is the first to have loved us.”
“The Virgin Mary teaches us how to respond to God’s call in a profoundly human way,” he continued, “and in a personal and free way,while totally trusting the message of the angel Gabriel. “She teaches us that only in a real trusting relationship with God can we respond to his call to serve,” he said.
After the final blessing, everyone was invited to the Catholic Action hall, where helpers were able to greet the new Custos and wish him “Ahlanwasahlan,” or “welcome!”