Jerusalem, 24th October 2020
Protocol.No. : BA-524-PL/20
Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Your Beatitude, dear Archbishop Pierbattista,
May the Lord grant you peace!
Together with the Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land, it is with great joy and gratitude towards God the Father, that we have received the news that you, have been appointed to the demanding ministry as Patriarch of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
God calls us to cooperate in His work for the good of the Church and His children, through ways that are unpredictable to us. In your heart, at this moment, there may certainly harbor different feelings of trepidation and even fear, but the Spirit of the Lord will surely give you His inner consolation so that you can confidently assume this new service. As St Paul reminds us in the first reading that is proclaimed today in the liturgy: “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: «When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men»” (Eph 4: 7-8). We wish you to be able to continue the work undertaken at the service of this particular Church, unique of its kind, because it is a "Mother Church" with a meaning not only local but also universal.
All of us, your confreres, together with the many people who esteem and love you, will be close to you in prayer and available for collaboration for the good of the Church. We invoke the Spirit of the Lord who infuses in your ministry the light of discernment, the warmth of the Word and the fire of charity so that you can patiently guide, nourish and instruct the flock entrusted to you by Christ Himself and which belongs to Him. We wish you to be an instrument of peace in this reality which is in great need of peace, dialogue and reconciliation. We pray that you may be the one who sows fraternity in this land, according to the recent indications given by Pope Francis in “Fratelli Tutti”.
May the Immaculate Virgin our Patroness, who was the first to watch in prayer with this Church, invoking and awaiting the gift of the Spirit, accompany you with her maternal intercession and protection; may Saints Francis and Anthony obtain for you an untiring apostolic love and zeal.
Thus, animated by deep sentiments of fondness and closeness, we wish you, dear brother in Christ, all the goodness in the Lord and we embrace you with fraternal affection.
Fr. Francesco PATTON, OFM
Custos of the Holy Land
Fr. Marco CARRARA, OFM
Secretary of the Holy Land