"Bless the land where You chose to come into the world." (Pope Francis)
One reader of My Discover Hope News Notes sent me an email last week commenting on the celebration of the canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII. Though we rejoice that these two great Popes are being recognized as saints by the Church, she wondered if we as a Church are as aware of the Christians today who are being persecuted and martyred in the Middle East.
"Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other areas of the Holy Land sometimes overflow with tears," as Pope Francis said at a meeting last November. Indeed the number of present-day martyrs far exceeds the martyrs in the early Church. As Christians, the tragic news from these countries is also "family news," news about our Christian brothers and sisters who either remain in these countries often under intense persecution or flee the Holy Land.
In the midst of all of this, the sacred shrines of the Holy Land and the Christians themselves are cared for by the Franciscans who for centuries have been given custody of the Holy Land. Throughout the Middle East they minister to pilgrims, care for the Shrines, serve the Christians in the local Church, and offer social assistance.
You can learn more about what the Franciscans do as well as assist them in their work of maintaining the presence of Christ in the Holy Land by purchasing their DVD (only $7.99) and by taking part in the Good Friday Collection in your parish.
On Good Friday, all Christians are united in a special way to the Holy Land.
Donations on Good Friday make a direct impact on the Christians living in the Holy Land.
We may not be able to personally affect events in Syria, Israel, Palestine, Iraq or Egypt. But we can provide for those who can. The DVD includes Lesson Plans that can be used by parishes and teachers.
Click here to download a FREE guide to the Sacred Shrines of the Holy Land.
Franciscan Boys' Home run by the Franciscans for underprivileged boys.