Profession of Fr. Samhar at La Verna | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Profession of Fr. Samhar at La Verna

The Lord gave me brothers. We experienced these words of St. Francis today, thanks to the first profession of our brother Samhar Ishak, from Syria, the land which witnessed the conversion of St. Paul, the herald of the Gospel.

Today, no ancient stone of Jerusalem has been discovered, but there is more: the Franciscan family has grown with the gift of a new living stone, that does not hesitate to donate himself totally to be part of the new temple of celestial Jerusalem.

In the hands of Fr. Paolo Fantaccini, Provincial Minister of Tuscany, and before the friars of the Custody from Rome, Montefalco and Frascati, together with the postulants and aspirants, and with the participation of his mother and two brothers, Fr. Samhar Ishak made his first religious profession. Before pronouncing his desire to consecrate himself to God in our fraternity in front of the church, he sang “Here I am, Lord” with such great sweetness that all those who were present were greatly moved.

In his sermon, the Provincial father underlined the greatness of the choice Samhar and all of us have made: this choice seems unreasonable and is “not fashionable” in today’s world but, when it is seen through the eyes of the faith, leads to fullness. It is this truth that makes us free to follow the Lord. This choice has been made by taking on and professing the recommendations of the Gospel, poverty, chastity and obedience, which does not mean being insensitive, inflexible and inhuman; on the contrary, St. Francis always wanted the friars to be courteous, gentle, hospitable and cordial with others; and this human beauty has been revealed in Fr. Samhar during the trial year which has just come to an end. Although he was far from his land and the environment of the Custody and, for this reason, was in relative solitude here in La Verna, he was able to convey to the others the perfume of restored humanity, showing in his everyday life of being a friar minor how St. Francis wanted his friars to be.

Fr. William Makari ofm