Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land

The Latest

The entrance into the Franciscan church in Aleppo, Syria, of the twins George and Johnny Jallouf, friars of the Custody of the Holy Land, who were ordained priests on July 6, 2024. The two ordinands are wearing the priestly vestments with which they were clothed during the ordination rite. They were 15 when the war in Syria broke out. Their vocation was born and grew amid the Battle of Aleppo. “I tried to attend Mass every day,” George recounted. “I was afraid, but I kept repeating to myself ‘I fear nothing because you are with me.’ This phrase guided me, reassured me, gave me peace.”

Different paths to same vocation: Twin brothers ordained priests in Aleppo, Syria

Jul 10, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

It marked the first priestly ordination in 17 years at St. Francis Church in Aleppo, a city that suffered massive... Read more

Pope Francis appears in the window of the Apostolic Palace to give his Sunday Angelus address on Jan. 14, 2024.

Pope Francis: ‘War itself is a crime against humanity’

Jan 14, 2024

By Courtney Mares

Speaking at the end of his Angelus address, the pope urged people to pray for all who are suffering due... Read more

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, spoke about the "courage" and the "madness" of working for peace during his homily during the  Mass of the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God, on Jan. 1, 2024, in the Pro-Cathedral of the Latin Patriarchate, in Jerusalem.

The Church in the Holy Land rings in the new year with pleas for peace

Jan 1, 2024

By Marinella Bandini

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa challenged Christians of the Holy Land to “make a difference.” Read more


MAP: Are Holy Land pilgrimage sites threatened by the Israel-Hamas war?  

Nov 30, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

Amid the uncertainty of war, what is the outlook for the Holy Land’s many precious sites? CNA spoke to Father... Read more

Daily procession of the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land (Calvary, Latin Chapel), Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem. Oct. 9, 2023.

In the Holy Land, Franciscans are keeping doors to holy sites open — for now

Oct 11, 2023

By Marinella Bandini

Jerusalem is semi-deserted, with many shops, schools, and offices closed, but the Custody of the Holy Land has kept holy... Read more

Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa, pictured before his appointment as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Credit: Cristian Gennari/OESSH.

Interview with Jerusalem Patriarch Pizzaballa: Christians face coexistence problems, not persecution

Aug 26, 2023

By Elias Turk

“The overwhelming majority of the Israeli population, more than 90%, has nothing to do with [the attacks on Christians],” Pizzaballa... Read more


Catholics urged to be generous to Good Friday collection to benefit the Holy Land

Mar 24, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, invited Catholics to a donate as an act of... Read more

Pope Francis met a delegation affiliated with the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land on Jan. 17, 2022.

Pope Francis: The story of the Holy Land is the 'Fifth Gospel'

Jan 17, 2022

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis has urged journalists in the Middle East to keep telling stories from the Holy Land. Read more

St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox monastery on the Jordan River in the West Bank. Credit: Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida (CC BY 2.0)

Franciscan friars return to site of Christ's baptism after 50 years

Jan 10, 2021

By Hannah Brockhaus

For the first time in over 54 years, the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land were able... Read more

Crucifix inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Good Friday Holy Land collection moved to September due to coronavirus

Apr 2, 2020

By Hannah Brockhaus

The Lenten Holy Land collection will be moved to September this year because of the suspension of public Masses in... Read more

Photo courtesy of the Franciscan Care Center in Aleppo.

How Franciscans in Syria are helping kids heal from war trauma

Mar 7, 2020

By Courtney Mares

As a wartime missionary priest in Aleppo, Fr. Firas Lufti witnessed the trauma endured by a generation of Syrian children... Read more

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

What a vocation to be a Holy Land Franciscan looks like

Sep 10, 2018

By Kevin J. Jones

A religious vocation to serve in the Holy Land is demanding, but there is nothing like walking where Christ walked... Read more