03 January 2018

In Nazareth, end of year culminating event: Feast of the Holy Family

In Nazareth, Galilee, on the last day of 2017, local pilgrims and Christians took part in the Feast of the Holy Family.



Liturgies

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After Jesus was presented in the Temple of Jerusalem, Joseph and Mary went to Nazareth, in Galilee. In this city with over seventy thousand inhabitants, the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, celebrated Mass on the day in which the Church commemorates the Feast of the Holy Family.

Local Christians and pilgrims of different nationalities gathered to attend the solemn celebration that was held in the higher area of the Church of the Annunciation.



In his homily, Father Amjad Sabbara, Latin Pastor of Nazareth, introduced the five fundamental behaviors in the life of a family!


Fr. AMJAD SABBARA, ofm 

Latin Pastor - Nazareth

"The first one is love, the second one is forgiveness, the third one gratitude, the fourth one is the act of apologizing and then learning how to appreciate each other. Because of these five points, the house founded on the rock that is Christ, is able to withstand any storm, because five are also the wounds of Jesus, who changed history, from sin to redemption. Therefore, difficulties can undoubtedly build the path on which to build the family.”

The celebration of the Feast of the Holy Family in Nazareth, near the house where Joseph, Mary and Jesus lived until the end of Jesus' thirtieth birthday, has a special meaning.

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm 

Custos of the Holy Land

"This is the place where the Holy Family took shape, through the love, blessed by God, of these young spouses, Mary and Joseph. This is where the Child Jesus was conceived by the work of the Holy Spirit, where the child Jesus learned the meaning of human existence, where He learned to live within a family and where He learned carpentry skills from Joseph: in fact, He was called 'the carpenter's son'. I want to say that there is no better place to celebrate the Holy Family.”

After mass, the procession walked towards the Grotto that marks the place where Mary, Joseph and Jesus lived.



This was an important day for these 'countrymen' and 'countrywomen' of the Holy Family. On this date, they celebrated 25 years of married life.



SILVIA NIGIM

Teacher
"I love Nazareth, because this is, [indeed], a holy land. Let us be good and be blessed in our daily life, like the Holy Family!"

Nazareth is also an ideal place to experience the arrival of a new year.


Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm 

Custos of the Holy Land

"At the end of the year, the Christian tradition encourages us, above all, to ask forgiveness for the shortcomings we have committed during the year, after which, we sing the TE DEUM. In the beautiful hymn of 1600 years ago, we find a verse that is particularly suited to Nazareth, in which we say that the Son of God came to save us and chose to be born of the Virgin's womb.”