FFHL St. Francis Appeal
Christians in the Holy Land know they have a very special mission given to them by God.
“Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission – to be of service to them whenever they require it.”
– SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
St. Francis of Assisi was born in Italy circa 1181 to a wealthy silk merchant and reveled in a life of partying and dreaming of battlefield glory in his youth. After being a prisoner for nearly a year, he fell ill and thus began his life of service and marriage to poverty. He devoted his life to rebuilding the Christian church.
As the founder of our order and the first Franciscan missionary for the Holy Land, St. Francis never imagined that his small band of brothers would become one of the largest religious orders in the world. St. Francis and his followers were committed to carrying out Christ’s work: “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received–only what you have given,” he said. If the recent pandemic has demonstrated anything, it is that suffering can come without warning, stripping away prosperity and wellbeing.
As the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land has witnessed, COVID-19 has had a tragic impact on Holy Land tourism—forcing tens of thousands of Palestinians into unemployment. The pandemic has accelerated economic hardships of vast proportions. Amid the “perfect storm” of destruction, Christians are being forced to flee their homeland because of high unemployment rates, inadequate housing, and poor economic and political factors inflicting widespread suffering.
But you can help alleviate the suffering. Because of the generosity of our supporters, the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land is able to provide essential educational and humanitarian resources to our Christian brothers and sisters in need. Without these critical programs, they will have no other option except to flee the Holy Land to seek a better way of life.
“O Divine Master, grant that I may not seek to be consoled, as to console. To be understood, as to understand. To be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
– SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
As we continue our divine work to preserve Christianity in the birthplace of Christ, may we emulate the love and selflessness that St. Francis bestowed on others. We humbly ask that you follow St. Francis’ life of service and charity by helping us meet the needs of others through a gift of financial support. A donation of any amount sheds light into someone’s darkest place.
St. Francis is remembered for his generosity to the poor and his willingness to minister to the lepers. We invite you to view a special St. Francis Day message from Fr. Francesco Patton, OFM Chairman, FFHL Custos of the Holy Land on our YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/3yUaci2).
Yours in Christ,
-Fr. Peter F. Vasko, OFM President Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land