A Franciscan March during the Lenten Period

Posted on Apr 12, 2019

On April 7, more than 170 young people from different places in the Holy Land responded to a Franciscan initiative for a meeting of young people during the Lenten period. Departing from the monastery of St. George, they crossed the narrow alleys of Wadi el Qult to reach Jericho.

Br FRANCESCO PATTON, Ofm Custos of Holy Land “This is particularly important for our young people here in the Holy Land, for several reasons. First, our young people need to understand more and more that it is a vocation and a mission to be Christians and to be young Christians in the Holy Land. Then, the young people of the Holy Land must learn to understand in some way that we all are the custodians of the holy places. The holy places will also have a meaning in the future if there are new generations living in these places, praying, witnessing to what it means to be Christian in these places. These moments of retreat are an important part of reviving this knowledge within them.”

“Which one of you is without sin?” was the slogan of this Franciscan March during the period of Lent. Silence and prayer accompanied the participants through the three different meditation stations during the over three hours of walking: living mercy following the example of the Good Samaritan; the grace of faith, like the blind man of Jericho; and in the footsteps of the Saviour, as Zechariah did.

Br IMAD KAMEL, ofm Responsible for the Franciscan March “This is a spiritual experience that we like to have during the Lenten period in order to prepare our young people to live a deeper spiritual life in themselves. This is why we chose the desert, where God directs each soul distinctly, speaking to it far from the chaos of the world.”

SIREEN KARAM Attendee – Nazareth “Today I remembered Jesus Christ as He walked in this same area where He lived the experience in the desert, facing so many difficulties, the torrid heat, walking on rocky terrain. This led me to show more enthusiasm, to listen with humility, to feel the inner peace that would help me to get closer to Jesus through this experience, right during the period of Lent”

JIRIES SHAKHTOUR Attendee – Sakhnin “We are the living stones of the Church. We are the foundations of the Church. We are the youth of the future who will build the Church. We must therefore show more solidarity and charity towards one another.”

The Custos of the Holy Land, Br. Francis Patton, presided over the Holy Mass in the Parish of the Good Shepherd in Jericho, expressing his joy as he saw the young people entering the Church. He urged those responsible to increase the amount of this type of meeting. In conclusion, Brother Imad launched the 29th Franciscan March entitled “Meetings that lead us to you”, inviting everyone to live this unique experience.

Br IMAD KAMEL, ofm Responsible for the Franciscan March “We entrust ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit in You and through You, so that the Church may remain flourishing and strong in the Holy Land. Be a follower of Jesus.”