Holy Land

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An Israeli army convoy leaves the Gaza Strip as seen from a position on the Israeli side of the border on July 3, 2024 in southern Israel.

Israeli embassy criticizes Holy Land Catholic leaders for statement on ‘just war’

Jul 3, 2024

By Jonah McKeown

In a statement June 30, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Holy Land suggested Israel’s behavior in Gaza goes... Read more

A group of cello students from the Magnificat Institute of Jerusalem performs on May 30, 2024. Today, the Magnificat Institute welcomes over 200 students each year (as young as 5 years old) and relies on the collaboration of 25 teachers. It has a choir (which also serves the liturgies of the Custody of the Holy Land) and several orchestras.

Jerusalem’s Magnificat Institute: ‘Every day we witness a small but significant miracle’ 

Jun 26, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

The Magnificat Institute brings Jews, Christians, and Muslims together to make music — not an easy feat as the longest... Read more

The sisters Madeleine and Marie-Liesse together with Louis Antona at the entrance of Greece. The three young people covered the distance from Paris to Jerusalem on foot, arriving in mid-May 2024. “I needed to walk 4,500 kilometers to understand that Jesus is not just in Jerusalem, but was by my side every step of the way,” Antona told CNA.

Three young adult pilgrims walk from Paris to Jerusalem ‘to deepen our faith’

Jun 18, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

“Every day of this pilgrimage was a miracle,” said Louis Antona, 24, of the journey he made with two young... Read more

A reporter from an Israeli news outlet at a press conference hosted by the Rossing Center for Education and Dialogue. The Center presented its report called “Attacks on Christians in Israel and East Jerusalem” on June 4, 2024, at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem.

Interreligous group releases report highlighting harassment of Christians in Holy Land

Jun 11, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

According to the report, there were 90 known attacks in 2023, a notable increase in cases of spitting, physical, and... Read more

Pope Francis said he prays every day for an end to the war in Israel and Palestine during a prayer service June 7, 2024, in the Vatican Gardens, commemorating 10 years since the symbolic planting of an olive tree in the presence of the presidents of Israel and Palestine in 2014.

Pope Francis recalls 2014 embrace of Palestine and Israel presidents at prayer for peace

Jun 8, 2024

By Hannah Brockhaus

A prayer service in the Vatican Gardens marked the 10th anniversary of the 2014 “prayer for peace in the Holy... Read more

An external view of the Chapel of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem during the procession of the Franciscan friars after the first vespers of the Ascension solemnity on May 8, 2024. The procession circled the chapel three times.

PHOTOS: Catholics gather at site of Jesus’ ascension in Jerusalem

May 9, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

“I’m excited to have come to pray in the actual place of the Ascension... I want to be closer to... Read more

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III exits the Aedicule of the Holy Sepulcher on May 4, 2024, in Jerusalem, showing the faithful the two candles just lit from the oil lamp that is believed to have been miraculously ignited inside Jesus' tomb.

‘Holy Fire’ ceremony at Jesus’ tomb marks beginning of Orthodox Easter celebrations

May 5, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

Though its authenticity is disputed, the “Holy Fire” refers to a flame of purported divine origin that ignites inside Jesus’... Read more

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa gives the homily at a Mass in which he took possession of his titular church, St. Onuphrius, in Rome on May 1, 2024.

Cardinal Pizzaballa: Peace in Holy Land built on dialogue, action

May 3, 2024

By Matthew Santucci

“Peace needs the testimony of clear and strong gestures on the part of all believers, but it also needs to... Read more

A family of religious Jews walks at the beginning of Armenian Quarter Street, the entry point to the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem in April 2024. Behind them stands the complex of the Tower of David Museum.

Orthodox rabbis in Jerusalem call on Jews to stand against spitting at Christians

May 1, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

Several posters and pamphlets appeared in the streets of the Old City calling on the public to avoid harassment toward... Read more

Lara Al-Sayegh, a Catholic from Gaza, collapsed and died of heatstroke as she and her mother tried to leave Gaza and find safe haven in Egypt on April 24, 2024. The 19-year-old lived in northern Gaza and the family had already lost their father and husband after he died at Gaza’s Latin Holy Family Church due to a lack of adequate medical care.

19-year-old Catholic woman dies attempting to flee Gaza with her mother

Apr 30, 2024

By Sanad Sahelia

The tragic death of Lara Al-Sayegh highlights the suffering of Gaza’s dwindling Christian minority. Read more

A view of the modern area of the Catholic cemetery located on the southern hillside of Mount Zion in April 2024. In the background are the buildings of the Arabic neighborhood of Abu Tor.

Franciscans file petition to stop cable cars from passing over Holy Land Catholic cemetery

Apr 27, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

The Jerusalem Development Authority is exploring the opportunity to use the piece of land in the cemetery to place a... Read more

Pope Francis gives his urbi et orbi message and blessing from the central loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica on March 31, 2024.

Pope Francis on Easter: May the risen Christ open a path of peace in the Holy Land

Mar 31, 2024

By Courtney Mares

In his Easter Sunday blessing, Pope Francis asked the risen Lord to open paths of peace in the Holy Land,... Read more

The Catholic faithful gathered in the Cenacle in Jerusalem for the Mass of the Lord's Supper that the Franciscan friars celebrated on Holy Thursday, March 28, 2024. The Cenacle is at the center of strong tensions and disputes regarding ownership and rights of access and celebration. An ancient tradition places King David’s tomb here and over the centuries Jews and Muslims have leveraged this to first expel the Franciscans and then to prevent Christian worship, which they deemed sacrilegious.

PHOTOS: Friars and faithful gather in Upper Room in Jerusalem to mark the Last Supper

Mar 28, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

On Holy Thursday, the doors of the Cenacle in Jerusalem were opened to welcome the Franciscans of the Custody of... Read more

On Holy Wednesday, the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land venerated the column to which, according to tradition, Jesus was bound to be scourged. They prayed the station dedicated to the column during the daily procession that the Franciscans perform inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. At the end, they intoned the hymn “Columna Nobilis” and then, one by one, they performed an act of veneration. March 27, 2024.

Holy Wednesday in Jerusalem: Venerating the pillar of Christ’s flagellation

Mar 27, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

In Jerusalem, the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land venerate the two stones that, according to Luke’s Gospel,... Read more

Students and teachers from Jerusalem Christian schools walk the Way of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. The yearly event was organized by the Custody of the Holy Land on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, on the occasion of Lent.

In letter to Holy Land Christians, Pope Francis deplores the war, expresses closeness 

Mar 27, 2024

By Matthew Santucci

“Dear brothers and sisters, allow me to tell you once more that you are not alone. We will never leave... Read more


Holy Land priest recommends 4 ways to live a worthwhile Holy Week

Mar 27, 2024

By Walter Sánchez Silva

Father Juan María Solana, LC, director of the Magdala Center in the Holy Land, offers four ways to live worthwhile... Read more

Some Greek Orthodox monks at the entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher wait for the solemn entrance of the patriarch on Saturday, March 23, 2024, for the First Vesper of the first Sunday of Lent, called the "Sunday of Orthodoxy."

PHOTOS: As Catholics enter Holy Week, Orthodox churches begin Great Lent in Holy Land

Mar 26, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

As the Catholic Church in the Holy Land entered Holy Week by literally retracing the steps of Jesus’ passion, the... Read more

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, gives the final blessing with the relic of the holy cross at the end of the Palm Sunday procession from Bethphage to Jerusalem on March 24, 2024.

PHOTOS: Palm Sunday procession in Holy Land celebrates ‘joy in being Christians’

Mar 25, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, led the procession, which departed from Bethphage on the eastern side of... Read more

The daily procession of the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. Due to the restoration works inside the basilica, Franciscans, as well as other communities, had to change the route of their processions. These are all issues that need to be discussed, as they fall within the Status Quo.

What is the ‘Status Quo’ that governs some of Jerusalem’s holiest sites?

Mar 24, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

A decree going back to 1852 governs the possession and rights of use for Catholic and Orthodox Christian communities at... Read more

Father Nikodemus Schnabel, abbot of the Benedictine Basilica of the Dormition in Jerusalem, speaks during an ecumenical prayer service that took place at the Cenacle on Jan. 25, 2024.

Attack on priest in Jerusalem brings intolerance of Christians back into focus

Feb 8, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

Harassment of Christians in the Holy Land is not new. “Education is key,” says an expert on Jewish-Christian relations. Read more