In today's Urbi et Orbi message the Holy Father Pope Francis prayed for peace in the Holy Land. Here is an Email message I received today from a Latin Rite Catholic Pastor, (a Bethlehem native), regarding the united Christian celebration of Easter in the Holy Land (5th May this year).
Alleluia, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed. Alleluia!
From the heart of the City of Hope, Resurrection I take great pleasure in extending my thanks for your thoughtfulness and our warmest best wishes to you, and those of the entire Christian community of Birzeit, on the occasion of the Great Feast of Easter. I ask you to pray for me, to the peoples of this land in your prayers, particularly the Christian presence that keeps dwindling and faces existential challenges and for those who live with the lack of security, and those who are displaced and refugees, especially here in our Land.
Catholic communities in the Palestinian State adopted the Easter date according to the Julian calendar (which in 2013 falls on May 5), followed by the Orthodox communities. We celebrate on the same days the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as eloquent step at an ecumenical level and in order to also give a witness of unity with our non-Christian neighbors.
May the light of the risen Lord shine upon the whole world and in our region, and may we all be raised with Christ into life victorious. We hope to see you in Birzeit.
Yours in Christ
Fr. Louis Hazboun & Staff & Parishioners
Fr. Dr. Louis Hazboun
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Jaffa Gate, P.O.Box 14152