Upon receiving an award from the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone underscored the urgent need to materially and spiritually sustain Christians in the Holy Land.
In his acceptance speech, the cardinal pointed to the need to “sustain those who still remain there witnessing to the glorious roots of the Christian life in the Holy Land.”
In this sense, he praised the work of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, made up of 24,000 members throughout the world and led by Cardinal John Patrick Foley. The order works to be constantly attentive to the needs of Christians in the Holy Land, in collaboration with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.
After recalling that many Pontiffs, including Pope Benedict XVI, have always praised the work of the order, Cardinal Bertone underscored that “the love for the Holy Land is an invitation to grow in the faith and love of Christ.”
He encouraged the members of the order to pass on their commitment and passion to the new generations. “I think of the rich human, moral and spiritual patrimony of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, who through the centuries have maintained the original spirit of defenders of the faith and the Church.”
Cardinal Tarcisio also called on the members of the order to accompany the Pope with their prayers during his journey to the Holy Land in May.
In his speech, Cardinal John Foley underscored the many works of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, including their support of the priests and religious in 68 parishes, financial support for the Seminary of Beit Jala and for the 38 schools operated by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (23 in Jordan, 12 in the Palestinian territory and 3 in Israel).