The Sanctuary of St Francis, in the city of São Paulo, will be the venue for the 12th Congress of the Commissars of the Holy land of Latin America.
The main aim of the meeting is to update and revitalize life and evangelization to continue on the path of spreading the word about the Holy Places. The Commissariat of the Holy Land has been an institution for over 600 years. On 14 February 2021, the Custody celebrated the 600th anniversary of the institution of the Commissariats.
"There is a very beautiful psalm that says “a thousand years in God’s sight are but as yesterday” says fr. Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land “We have not yet reached a thousand years but we hope to exceed them".
"600 years of history of the commissariats tell us of 600 years of efforts by the Church in the whole world to support the Holy Places" – added Fr. Marcelo Cichinelli. Bridges between the Holy Land and Christians all over the world, the 67 friars minor, who are present today in 57 countries, are considered “ambassadors” of the Custody of the Holy Land.
"We can say that we have been present here for 800 years says – fr. Francesco Patton – because practically after about a century, this Franciscan mission in the Holy Land became, by the will of Pope Clement VI, the Custody of the Holy Land, i.e. it was entrusted with the Custody of the Holy Places. After about another century, in 1421, on 14 February, another pope, Martin V, gave the Custody the chance to have these “ambassadors” around the world, the Commissars of the Holy Land."
The Bull issued by Pope Martin V became the birth certificate of the Commissariats, and this story is very well documented in the archive of the Custody.
"This is the official bull of the foundation of the commissars of the Holy Land in the whole world – explains fr. Narcyz Klimas, prof. of History of the Church and of the Custody of the Holy Land – It is preserved very well and also contains the name of the Pope, which can be read very clearly, in the stamp of the bull, while in the text we can find a very clear indication of the representatives and the commissars, who are thus established in this Bull and then confirmed by subsequent Popes.”
Fr. Silvio Rogelio De La Fuente, Delegate for the commissariats of the Holy Land: “The friars scattered all over the world work on behalf of the Custody of the Holy Land, spreading the word about the work we do here in the Holy Land, bringing pilgrims to the Holy Land and holding the Good Friday collection all over the world for the work that is done here in the Holy Land in the name of the Custody of the Holy Land, and they are the ones who take the Holy Land into the world to all the pilgrims.
The forthcoming meeting, the congress we will be holding in Brazil in August, has the aim of bringing together all the commissars and all the friars who do this service in Latin America, but commissars from other continents will also be attending”.
Christian Media Center