The Custos of the Holy Land visited Malt

The Custos of the Holy Land visited Malta

The Custos of the Holy Land Fr. Francesco Patton, accompanied by Fr. Narcyz Klimas archivist of the Custody, visited Malta on the invitation of Fr. Anthony Chircop, Minister Provincial and Commissary of the Holy Land, on 8-11 May.

On Thursday 9 May Fr. Patton gave a talk during the meeting of the Franciscan Family of Malta. He spoke about “Calvary, La Verna and us on the occasion of the 800 years of the stigmatisation of St. Francis”.

On Friday 10 May in the morning the Custos met some journalists for interviews. In the evening he presided over a solemn concelebrated Mass in the Church of Santa Marija ta’ Ġesù in Valletta. Many benefactors of the Holy Land were present, together with the Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and other Franciscan religious and seculars. During the Mass the Father Custos spoke about the need to pray for peace in the Holy Land and to continue to show support for the Christian community also by going on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. After the Mass the Custos led a moment of prayer in front of the Miraculous Crucifix by Innocenzo da Petralia Soprana (1648) which is venerated in the church.

A reception was held in the cloister of the friary, during which the Custos had a private meeting with the Archbishop of Malta Charles Scicluna, the Apostolic Nuncio Savio Hon Tai-Fai SDB, and other Bishops. The Custos also handed over the decoration of the “Grato Animo” medal to Professor Horatio C.R. Vella, thanking him for the work of transcription of documents in the Archives of the Custody. The Custos also thanked all the Maltese benefactors who give material support to the mission of the Holy Land.

The Custos also visited the Commissariat of the Holy Land, which is one of the oldest in the Franciscan Order, and was founded in 1636 as a hospice for missionaries.

The Custos and Fr. Klimas also visited the Provincial OFM Archives and some of the most important historical and cultural sites in Malta, including the Conventual Church of the Knights of St. John which houses two paintings by Caravaggio, and the Palace of the Grand Masters.

Fra Noel Muscat