Cardinal O’Brien visits the Holy Land and brings a message of solidarity and peace | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Cardinal O’Brien visits the Holy Land and brings a message of solidarity and peace

The church's presence in the Holy Land has for centuries miraculously endured hostile dominations and must continue witnessing this commitment."
This is the essence of Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien's inaugural message upon his arrival in the Holy Land.
Monday the 26th of November, in the late afternoon, the solemn entrance of the Cardinal, who was awaited at Jaffa Gate and then accompanied to the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, took place.
The following day at 2,15 pm the procession began, starting from the Latin Patriarchate to the Holy Sepulcher.
His Eminence Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien was accompanied in the procession towards the Holy Sepulcher by the Patriarch Mgr. Fouad Twal, the heads of the Christian Churches and the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land.
At the procession the knights of the Holy Sepulcher, religious, seminarists, faithful and civil authority representatives lead by the Kawwas, walked in the streets of the Old City for the ceremony of the solemn entrance to the Holy Sepulcher.
As in tradition, the door of the Basilica of the Resurrection, which is not completely closed, was reopened when the procession that accompanied the cardinal arrived, the Great master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem .

The Custos of the Holy Land, f. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, welcomed his Eminence O’Brien in front of the rock of the anointment , greeting him with this message: “Jerusalem , the crossroad of people, nations and faiths, is the place where we have to go to,to understand the depth of the love of Jesus and at the same time make people know and witness this love that surpasses every knowledge”.

F. Artemio Vitores, Custodial Vicar, entered the tomb of Christ Resurrected with the Cardinal, for a moment of contemplation in the most significant place of our faith. The Patriarch, Mgr. Fouad Twal, in his welcome speech, in front of the tomb, thanked the great master for his generous and lively interest,that has always been proven by the Knights and Ladies of the Order around the world for the Holy Land; he declared that " We appreciate the support and solidarity with gratitude”.
His Eminence Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien thanked and exchanged the greetings, confirming the Order's commitment for the Christians of the Holy Land.
After the final blessings the procession returned to the Latin Patriarchate to receive the official greetings.
His Eminence, Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien, will continue his pilgrimage in the Holy Land visiting various holy sites and the institutions which are sustained by the Order of the Knights , as for example the University of Bethlehem and Madaba, schools and parishes. In program there are meetings with the heads if other religions too.

Edwin Frederick O’Brien, appointed by Benedict XVI on the 16th of March 2012, is in charge of the institution that sustains the educational, charitable and assistance activities of the Church in the Holy Land. He became Cardinal on the February 18, 2012.
The American Cardinal, Great Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher , leads 28.000 members, i.e. knights, ladies and clergymen, present in 59 places in the world.

Photo:Andrea Krogmann