Three Brothers made their First Vows in Bethlehem | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Three Brothers made their First Vows in Bethlehem

A few days after five friars received the Franciscan habit, three other friars made their first vows in the Order in Bethlehem into the hands of the Custos of the Holy Land, Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

Many friars had come from Jerusalem and surroundings in order to be with them.
Friar Alberto-Joan Pari, ofm (Italy)
Friar Luai Bsharat, ofm (Jordan)
Friar Tomasz Franciszek Dubiel, ofm (Poland)

Qute a few faithful and religious had also joined them in their prayer, so that the church of Saint Catherine was full.

The celebration, during which the new friars in the novitiate served, was characterized by the four intense moments that make up the profession ceremony: the questions posed by the Custos, the reading by each friar in his mother tongue of his commitment, giving them the cord with the three knots representing the three vows they had just made, and handing them the Rule of Saint Francis.

Speaking to them during the homily, Father Custos reminded them that making profession on the feast of the stigmata of Saint Francis, according to the Franciscan custom, means that they vow to take part in the life of Christ crucified, as the two readings had reminded them. “You too will get to know the stigmata, the wounds that belong to saving your life. They are the mark of God’s love, but never forget that at the same time as you feel these wounds, you must live them animated by the same love as Jesus Crucified. (…) And don’t forget either that you will not be alone, you will be in community.”

A community that forcefully expressed its fraternity to the three professed not only through the applause that each of the Franciscans present gave them after their profession, but also in the warmth of the sharing that followed during the reception and the dinner shared in the refectory.
This welcome to Franciscan fraternity did not cause the Custos to forget the new brothers’ families who, by accepting that one of their sons makes profession, take part in his vocation in their own way. Although only one family could come, the others were very present in the hearts of those in the assembly.

As the Custos also recalled, the young professed have another brother, Samhar Ishak. Because he could not get a visa for Israel, he will make his first profession in Italy this coming September 30.
Another “family” wanted to join in the feast, that of the children of the Franciscan Boys Home, who came to the Mass. They were the ones who gave the festive cake, which the friars cut together at the end of the dinner.