The Israeli Ambassador Zion Evrony shall also be present at the Holy Seat accompanied by his wife and later, the mass to be presided by Pope Francesco on Sunday in St. Peter’s square for the canonisation of four sisters, including the first two Palestinian Saints of the modern age. In addition, the celebration will also feature Palestinian President Abu Mazen, who has been in Italy since yesterday and who was received this morning by the Holy Father.
Over 2000 people from the Holy Land, led by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, for the canonisation of Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas and Mary of Jesus crucified, both originating from the land of Jesus. The two nuns will be proclaimed Saints along with beate Giovanna Emilie of Villenueve and Maria Cristina dell’immacolata Concezione. The churchyard of St. Peter’s basilica in Italy will be represented byUndersecretary to the Presidency of the Council, Claudio De Vincenti, France by the Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Jordan by Ambassador Makram Queisi.
Yesterday a briefing was held in the Press Office of the Holy Seat to present the figures of the two Palestinian sisters. In a land where “we are surrounded by war and death,” God sends us “two Holy women to guide us” and the Pope, in the year of the consecrated life and in the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary, offers us these two female figures that “call us to pray that God will make the hearts, minds and souls more meek and mild”. With these words, Father Rifat Bader, Director of the Centre for Catholic studies and the media of Amman, Jordan, presented sister Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem lived at the turn of the19th and 20th centuries, and Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified, a Discalced Carmelite nun, who lived in the second half of the 19th century. The first two Saints of modern Palestine, Father Bader pointed out that they are, at the same time, two Holy Arabs. For their intercession, an engineer of Galilee and a Sicilian boy have been healed. The next day, Monday, the Patriarch Twal will preside over a mass of Thanksgiving, in Arabic, in the Roman Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.
Father Lombardi, Vatican State spokesman, said that the recent agreement overall between the Holy Seat and the State of Palestine (paper yet to be signed by the respective authorities), and canonizations celebrated Sunday”are independent and, therefore, the two events are not connected. The rite on Sunday will be followed by satellite in several places in Palestine, where Christians account for about 2% society.
Translation by Marina Stronati