A big anniversary for an important publication! Founded in 1921 in Jerusalem, the Terrasanta – Holy Land – magazine today is a bimonthly in color published in the Italian, French, English, Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic editions, according to a note published for the anniversary.
It was created with the task of recounting the “wonders of the Holy Land” and the commitment of the Friars Minor in the various fields of their activity, including the safeguarding of Christian communities in the countries where the Custody (founded in 1217 by St. Francis) is present: Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Cyprus and some islands of Greece.
Through contributions from experts, many of them Franciscans, Terra Santa is seen as a tool for an in-depth knowledge of the complex reality of the Holy Land, dealing with religious, cultural, biblical, archaeological and ecumenical issues.
By the way, the Pope remained seated during this audience today, telling his guests: “Excuse me for sitting, but I have a pain in my leg today that … It hurts, it hurts when I’m standing. This is better for me.” Francis suffers from constant sciatica pain.
FRANCIS TO HOLY LAND JOURNALISTS: TELL THE STORY OF FRATERNITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Pope Francis urged the journalists of The Holy Land Review to tell the world the story of fraternity among Christians and among all the children of Abraham.
By Devin Watkins (Vatican news)
A group of journalists from The Holy Land Review, accompanied by Fr. Francesco Patton, OFM, the Custos of the Holy Land, met the Pope for a private audience on Monday morning.
The publication of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and offers news, information, and insights on life in the land of Jesus.
Pope Francis thanked the entire media group, including staff from the Christian Media Center and the Custody’s website and social media, for their dedication to the Church’s mission.
“The service you carry out today,” said Francis, “is in line with the communicative intuition that guided the Custos Ferdinando Diotallevi, and consists – as he wrote in the first edition of the review – ‘making better known the Holy Land, the Land of God, the cradle of Christianity, the venerable shrines where the Redemption of the human race was fulfilled’.”
Promoting fraternity among all
The Pope said the mission of telling the story of the Holy Land means sharing “the Fifth Gospel” which is “the historical and geographical environment in which the Word of God was revealed and took on flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, for us and for our salvation.”
It also means telling the story of those who live there now, including Christians of various Churches and denominations, as well as Jews and Muslims. He added that the journalists’ overall goal should be to help build a “fraternal society” in the difficult and complex social context of the Middle East.
Communication, said the Pope, must help “build community” and fraternity.
“I encourage you,” stated the Holy Father, “to tell the story of fraternity that is possible: the fraternity between Christians of Churches and confessions that are unfortunately still separated, but which in the Holy Land are often already close to unity… Tell of the fraternity that is possible among all the children of Abraham: Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Tell of the ecclesial fraternity that is open to migrants, displaced persons, and refugees, in order to restore to them the dignity of which they were deprived when they had to leave their homeland in search of a future for themselves and their children.”
Telling stories well
Pope Francis went on to thank the staff of The Holy Land Review for “encountering people where and how they are.”
He noted that the journalists show courage by publishing news about suffering and difficult parts of the Middle East like Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Gaza.
Their work, said the Pope, highlights the good being done and active resistance to the evils of war, along with stories of reconciliation, restored dignity, and the hopes and tragedies of refugees.
Communicating the message of salvation
The Pope pointed out that first-hand, lived experience is essential to effectively communicate the place where the Word of God manifested His message of salvation.
Journalists are called to tell about the Holy Land “where the history and geography of salvation meet and allow us to offer a new reading of the Biblical text, especially the Gospels.”
“The Paschal mystery enlightens and gives meaning to today and the journey of the peoples who now live in that Land, one which is unfortunately marred by wounds and conflict, but which the grace of God always opens to the hope of fraternity and peace.”
Enriching the faith of Christians around the world
In concluding, Pope Francis renewed his encouragement for the staff of The Holy Land Review, urging them to take wholeheartedly to all forms of media and social media to “enrich the faith of many people, even of those who lack the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to the holy places.”