22 November 2017

The flow of pilgrims to the Holy Land increases

A few days ago, Israel celebrated the milestone of having 3 million visitors since the beginning of 2017, beating records from previous years. This means that the flow of pilgrims in the Holy Places has increased.

Pilgrims

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Large numbers pilgrims are visiting the Holy Land and this has been especially obvious at the shrines, which lately have been very crowded!

Among those who come through here are Brazilians. However, the large amount of tourists and pilgrims does not in any way change the charm that the Land of the Fifth Gospel has on visitors.

Adjunior Araújo
Archdiocese of Palmas - Tocantins
“This is the first time I come here. It is an immense joy to be in this holy place! Our hearts are filled with joy, [and] we truly feel the presence of the living God everywhere we go. Here we can see everything we have read in the Bible and we can feel it in a very vivid, concrete way. It is a huge blessing to be here!”

The group pilgrimage led by Br. Edgar was unique because of the anniversary of the 800 years of the Franciscans’ presence in the Holy Land!

Br. Edgar Alves Pereira, ofm
Commissioner of the Holy Land - Brazil
“The Custody of the Holy Land proved that it is very open to welcoming these young people by helping them in many different ways. So, we accompanied these youth from Brazil so that they could be here for the 800th anniversary celebrations. Also, just as our father, St. Francis, faced every kind of sacrifice to get here, they also had the opportunity to come here and walk in Our Lord’s footsteps.”

These days were even more significant for this young girl who was preparing to receive First Communion during the pilgrimage!

Ana Carolina Evangelista Colafemina
Diocese of Ipameri - Goiás
“Few people have the privilege of knowing and experiencing how Jesus lived first-hand. Besides what I have learned, I have experienced all of this in a very direct and unique way!”

All of the places are special here in the Holy Land, but the Via Dolorosa is without a doubt one of the most important pilgrimage routes. These [pilgrims] that you see are about to arrive at the sixth station.

By singing, praying, and publicly being witnesses to their faith, the group walked along the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem. They traced the path on which Jesus walked, culminating at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. This is where Jesus experienced his Passion, Death and Resurrection!

It was a great grace for those who came and for those who stayed home! It was an opportunity [for them] to experience the Holy Land..and the greatest holy person to come from this Land!

Lara Cristiane de Alcântara Citra Ribeiro
Diocese of Anápolis - Goiás
“I will personally go home transformed, but not just that! Our feeling is that we will be able to talk to the people who stayed home not only about the blessings we received [here] and the importance of the Holy Land but also about the value of what led us to come here: Jesus is the center of all of this!”