Monday, March 28, 2011

The relics of Saint Therese for the first time in the Holy Land

Jerusalem,  17th  March,  2011  (Communicationes).‐  The  relics  of  Saint  Therese  of  the  Child Jesus arrived in the Holy  Land on Monday, 14th March, in what is becoming a historical visit.

For the first time, the relics of the holy French Carmelite and patron of the missions are visiting the Holy Land after have traveled practically the whole world. 

A  delegation  led  by  the  Papal  Nuncio,  Monsignor  Antonio  Franco,  and  made  up  of  Discalced Carmelite friars and nuns from Haifa, young people from the Carmel School of Haifa, as well as numerous religious from various Orders, ecclesiastics and bishops welcomed the Urn bearing the relics of Saint Therese at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. 

Saint Therese enters Jerusalem

However  the  most  notable  event,  so  far,  took  place  yesterday  in  Jerusalem.  Around  two thousand people gathered in a festive mood to receive Saint Therese, as she solemnly entered Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate. 

The saint, who herself compared her entrance into Carmel to that of Jesus into Jerusalem, was received  with  song  and  dance.  She  was  then  taken  in  procession  to  the  church  of  the  Latin Patriarchate, which she entered on the shoulders of the Discalced Carmelite friars of Haifa. The urn with the relics of the little Therese, remained exposed for veneration by the faithful during Evening Prayer and afterwards. 

This  was  an  event  longed  for  with  impatience  by  the  Christians  of  the  Holy  Land  for  many years. “It is a great gift for this land, for all the people, whatever religion they may be, since all this  was  made  possible  thanks  to  the  help  of  everyone”,  said  Fr  Flavio  Caloi,  the  Delegate General for Israel. 
In his sermon, Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, asked the Patroness of the missions for “the gift of unity amongst us, the Christians, and also for unity with our Jewish and Muslim brothers.”

Multitudinous welcome in Haifa 

A multitude of children and youth from the four large Haifa Catholic schools, Christians from the Melchite, Maronite and Latin Catholic Churches headed by their respective Bishops today received into Haifa the French Carmelite in a ceremony of welcome at which was present the Jewish Mayor of the city. 

St Joseph’s Carmelite church, the only Latin parish in Haifa, today celebrated a Mass in honor of the Patroness of the Missions at which was present Christians from various rites. 

A pilgrim for two months

Saint Therese will remain in the Holy Land for two months. Until the 31st May, the urn bearing the author of the “Story of a Soul” is planned to visit all the parishes in the Holy Land, including Gaza. 

Among the many place to be visited besides Haifa are Nazareth and Tiberias. On Palm Sunday the relics will be in the Carmelite Nuns’ monastery in Nazareth and during Holy Week they will visit the Carmelite nuns in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. 


Communicationes N. 174 

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