Christian Media Center – “To be consecrated exclusively to the Lord and be a witness of God’s love and mercy to all”: these were the words pronounced by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Mons. Fouad Twal, for the day for Consecrated Life on January 2.
Gethsemane was the site chosen for the celebration.
In the morning, a procession took place in the Garden of Olives.
These are religious and consecrated people from all over the world, attracted by a great love for the Holy Land. During the Jubilee of Mercy, they crossed the Holy Door of the Basilica to attend the celebration presided over by the Patriarch, along with the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Nuncio Mons. Giuseppe Lazzarotto, as well as several representatives of different religious communities and consecrated lay people.
The first task is certainly the prayer which here, in the Holy Land and in the Redemption Places, acquires a special flavor, because it has a specific mission.
H.B. Mons. FOUAD TWAL
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
“I know that some of the consecrated people here in the Holy Land are committed to education; others to the field of social nature, others to the universities… they all have a beautiful mission.
These consecrated men and women are the strength of the Holy Land! We have more than a hundred religious congregations from around the world.
I am proud and happy of their presence: what is left without them?
This day is a beautiful opportunity to thank their mission and their witness.”
Devout Disciple – Jerusalem
“We live at the fourth station of the Catholic Armenian Church and we worship there.
Our first charism and main mission is to worship, we are also responsible for liturgy and priestly services.
And to be able to live our vocation here, on the stones trampled by Him, is a very great sign.”
Ursuline Sisters of St. Charles – Jerusalem
“We surrender our lives to the Lord, as Anna, the prophetess, did.
Ann lived in the temple and served God day and night with prayers and fasting.
And we serve Him with our whole life.”
Different charisms and forms of consecrated life … including the mission of Father Gabriel Romanelli, of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word, a community born in Argentina with a specific purpose, namely the Evangelization of culture.
Fr. GABRIEL ROMANELLI
Religious Family of the Incarnate Word
“It is a wide field: in the area of education we help the Custody of the Holy Land and also the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem by teaching the seminarians. We also assist some schools in the Gaza Strip and in Tel-Aviv and we help with our Works of Charity. We house disabled children who were abandoned in Bethlehem and we visit the sick in Jaffa, Tel Aviv and Gaza.”
The conclusion of the Year of Consecrated Life was celebrated the same day, also in Nazareth. The celebration was presided over by Mons. Giacinto Marcuzzo.
H.E GIACINTO BOULOS MARCUZZO
Vicar Latin Patriarchate
“We just celebrated the Holy Mass at Mary’s grotto. Mary, the consecrated one par excellence.
I would say that the presence and mission of the consecrated people in the Holy Land is natural and spontaneous.
They devote themselves self to the Lord to imitate Jesus Christ: how wonderful to be able to imitate Jesus in His own land, in His own culture and environment, such as here in Nazareth and in all the holy places! We are talking about a very strong pastoral, historical and theological relationship.”
Fr. BRUNO OVARIAN, ofm
Guardian-Rector – Basilica of the Annunciation
“Consecrated men and women are of great importance because, by guarding the site of Mary’s ‘yes’, we renew our devotion, and we also become light when we imitate Mary and say ‘yes’.
As the Holy Father says, we must be light: light in the world.
Therefore, consecrated people – the Franciscans, the sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Ivrea who work inside the basilica, the nuns of the catechism, the Canção Nova community, the Shalom community are all consecrated to this land and to the place where Mary said ‘yes’.
The consecrated people are the continuation of that mystery that continues in His church with his mercy and love.
In them, Mary’s ‘yes’ goes on.”