Pastoral Trip to the Holy Land, August 17 to 25, 2022

Between August 17 and 25, 2022, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

After his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on Wednesday 17, the following day he visited the Saxum Visitor Center in Abu Gosh, a permanent exhibition that introduces pilgrims to the reality of the Holy Land through explanations, videos and various multimedia resources. He then had lunch with the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Bishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

In Nazareth, on the 19th, he went to the Basilica of the Annunciation, where he prayed before the remains of Our Lady’s house and, with the participation of about twenty people, he celebrated Mass in the chapel of St. Anne. In the afternoon, he went on pilgrimage to the church of Cana and to Mount Tabor. In the church that commemorates the Transfiguration, he spent time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

On Saturday, he visited the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. He celebrated Mass at the altar of the Magi. Afterwards, at the Peace Center close to the Basilica, he had a period of conversation, with simultaneous translation into Arabic, with about 160 people who attend means of formation offered by Opus Dei in the Bethlehem area. He was then able to greet friends of the Work who had arrived from Jerusalem, Haifa, Nazareth and Bethlehem. In the afternoon, his pilgrimage continued in Ein Karem, the place where tradition places the visit of Our Lady to her cousin Elizabeth.

The following day, Sunday, early in the morning, he walked the Way of the Cross in Jerusalem, entering the Old City from St. Stephen’s Gate or Lions Gate. In the afternoon, he met with a large number of people at the Mishkenot Sha’ananim convention center. Among those attending were Christians, Jews and Muslims. On Monday 22nd he celebrated Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In the afternoon he visited the Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Adolfo Yllana. He also visited the Polis Institute of languages and humanities.

Tuesday’s program began at Tabgha. After visiting the place that commemorates the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, he went to the nearby church of the Primacy of Peter. At the end of the morning he prayed in the Church of the Beatitudes. In the afternoon, in Capernaum, he visited the church that stands on the ruins of the house of Peter and the synagogue. Afterwards, the Prelate and those accompanying him travelled by boat on Lake Gennesaret and prayed while listening to Gospel passages set on the lake.

On Wednesday he celebrated Mass in the so-called Cenacolino with the same chalice that Blessed Alvaro had used in what was his last Eucharist in the same place. After visiting the Cenacle, he went to the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. In the afternoon he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and in the church of the Tomb of the Virgin.

On the last day of his stay in the Holy Land, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz visited the Abbey of St. Mary of the Resurrection in Abu Gosh, which preserves 12th century frescoes and, according to some traditions, could correspond to the Emmaus in the Gospel. On his way to the airport, he stopped at Emmaus Nicopolis.

Romana, n. 75, July-December 2022, p. 190-191.

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