In Bethlehem, the restoration of the Church of the Nativity continues. The repair started on the roof. Now they are repairing the aisle of the basilica, considered one of oldest and most important Byzantine artworks in the world. It is a restoration that "speaks' Italian, for the work has been entrusted to the experts’ hands of an Italian firm: Piacenti Spa of Prato. Full story
“At least one hundred children have drowned in the last month alone, in the stretch of sea that separates Kos and Rhodes from Turkey! The refugees are a multitude that is not stopping! The problem is that we do not have enough resources to help them.” It is Fr. Luke Gregory, a priest of the Custody of the Holy Land in charge of the Latin parishes on the two Greek islands, who gives the alarm. Full story
“Does the Christian presence in Syria have a future? If things continue this way, I expect that soon there will be a symbolic presence of Christians in the county. A little like that of the Christians in the Holy Land, who today are a derisory percentage.” The words pronounced on Saturday 24th October by father Jihad Youssef in Rome, a monk of the community of Mar Musa, have a bitter ring to them. Full story
Father Paolo Bizzeti, the newly-appointed Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, will be ordained bishop in 1st November. Pope Francis has chosen him as the successor of Bishop Luigi Padovese, murdered on 3rd June 2010 by his chauffeur. After the Pope’s decision, announced on 14th August, we interviewed him. Full story
Christian schools in Israel did not open their doors this year. An indefinite strike began on September 1, coinciding with the beginning of the school year, in order to protest against some policies of the Jewish State that are against the schools' rights and that are considered "discriminatory". Full story
To mark the fourth anniversary of his death, 37 respected scholars have contributed to this book in honor of Father Michele Piccirillo, the Franciscan friar of the Custody and world-renowned archaeologist. "Christ is Here!" supplies a thorough and highly impressive bibliography containing Father Piccirillo’s archaeological discoveries and achievements.
Since 21st May, the Museum of Israel in Jerusalem has had two 15th century illuminated volumes on display, which the public can admire until 20th September. This is a minor event which brings together, after centuries, two parts of the same work: a copy of the Mishne Torah by Moses Maimonides produced in northern Italy around 1457. The initiative was made possible by the collaboration between the Museum and the Vatican Library.
In recent decades, Walajeh, a small West Bank village located south of Jerusalem, on the road leading to Bethlehem, has been experiencing many changes due to geopolitical instability in the area. Only this olive tree seems to have kept its existence unchanged for hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of years.