Fr Carmelo Gallardo, vice chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, told AsiaNews that “the relics’ passage through the various Catholic communities of Palestine and Israel has brought together thousands of faithful from all the parishes of the Holy Land.”
“Everywhere people have shown great devotion,” the priest said. “Many young people have taken part in the processions, including boy scouts and parish groups.”
There were moments of great emotion during Easter procession in Bethlehem and Emmaus, Fr Gallardo said. The same occurred in Haifa where the relics were carried through the streets of the city.
The urn containing the remains of the saint, who is the patron of missions, arrived in Tel Aviv on 14 March.
In two months, it has been seen in the main churches and parishes of the Holy Land, including Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Haifa and Emmaus.
For security reasons, the relics did not travel to the Gaza Strip, where they were set to be on display yesterday.
In the past few days, “the prayers in honour of the Saint and the requests for grace made during the pilgrimage have laid a bridge of peace and hope between the peoples of the Holy Land, especially the faithful in the Gaza Strip,” Mgr Shomali, bishop of Jerusalem, said. (S.C.)