V. Holy Sepulchre: Source of Divine Grace
The Holy Places are not only stones, vestiges of the past. Above all, they are the footprints of God’s passage through this world. The work of the followers of Saint Francis in the Holy Land has consisted of enlivening these stones, making them speak to the hearts of all, making them “beloved stones”, because each one of them are witnesses of Christ. Without the presence of the Franciscans, their heroic effort and the price of their blood, the Catholic Church would be excluded from almost all the Holy Places. Some would have been turned into stables or mosques; others, the exclusive property of separate churches. A Catholic would find himself unable to celebrate the divine mysteries in the places where God has manifested himself, he would be a stranger in the house of Christ.
“Pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre” was first published in Tabor magazine for the consecrated life, no. 7. April 2009, by Fr. Artemio Vitores, OFM vicar of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.