Showing posts with label Palestine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palestine. Show all posts

Monday, April 4, 2016

Syrian-Orthodox Archbishop of the Holy Land Arrested

Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad (left) with the Latin Patriarch
and Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land
(Jerusalem) An unusual and serious incident took place in Bethlehem this weekend. The Palestinian police temporarily arrested the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad, as the Catholic news agency Fides reported. Archbishop Murad is responsible for the Syrian Orthodox faithful in the Holy Land.
The arrest occurred last Saturday night, April 2. According to a local observers report,   Palestinian police officers were on a vehicle convoy, collecting the church representative who was then on a visit to the Palestinian village of al-Khader, to Jerusalem. The diplomatic representation of Palestine to the Holy See announced, meanwhile, that the archbishop was released after a short interview. The Palestinian judicial authorities have not commented on the reasons for the arrest.
Text: Fides / Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Lpj (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Conversion of 1,000 Jews: What Does the Neocatechumenal Way on the End of Times and What Isn't It Saying?

Domus Galiaeae on the Mountain of Beatitudes in Palestine
(Rome) Among members of the Neocatechumenal Way it is being spread around that after a meeting of Jewish rabbis with Kiko Argüello, founder and president, several rabbis and more than a thousand Jews have come to Christ's message.
The message was made public for the first time on 22 December by an entry on a Spanish-language Facebook page of the Neocatechumenal path "Soy del Camino Neocatecumenal". For a better understanding: Founded in Madrid in 1964, the Neocatechumenal Way is recognized by the Catholic Church as a spiritual community and is canonically established as an independent foundation with a legal personality. The leadership position is for life on an equal footing  between the three founders, the two Spaniards Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernández and an Italian priest, Don Mario Pezzi.  The Neocatechumenate is understood by its own account, neither as a movement nor as an association, but as an "instrument" of  parishes to lead those who've strayed back to Christ. According to the website, a million Catholics belong to the Neocatechumenal Way worldwide, which maintains almost 100 seminaries and is active with 25,000 communities in 800 dioceses.  A criticism repeatedly directed at the Community are its  "pseudo-Jewish" special rites. The Neocatechumenal Way provides contacts to Judaism as part of its mission. Designed by Kiko Argüello and  finished in 2000 is the branch Domus Galiaeae, on the Sea of Galilee in Israel, has been previously visited, according to their account, by  more than 150,000 Jews.

The message

A certain Elias Bautista wrote on 22 December on his personal Facebook page and the Facebook page "Soy del Camino Neocatecumenal":
"I've discovered that the supreme head of the Neocatechumenal Way (Kiko and Carmen) have just met with an important group of Jewish rabbis: who among other things, (the Jews) have recognized Our Lord Jesus Christ as the true Messiah, and in turn, (the Neocatechumenates) informed that we are living "at the end of time" (not the end of the world), and that we must prepare ourselves, therefore, for what comes. But ... the Neocatechumenal leaders have decided to keep the secret,' and it is only among Kiko's Neocatechumenals ... that it is publicized ... Why? I don't know. This is a very serious sin .... I want them to come to their senses and that Our Lord gave them the distinction with respect to the need to share the information of this important, unique and anticipated event."
Yet Elias Bautista has received no reply. So he wrote on January 2 again on the "Soy del Camino Neocatecumenal" Facebook page:
Domus Galiaeae and the coming of the Lord
"I have just learned that more than a thousand Jews have converted to the Catholic faith and accepted Our Lord as their Messiah after they have met with Kiko and Carmen. That's a great message! These rabbis have alerted the Neocatechumenal leadership that the Parousia is very close:. The return of our Lord is really close  but ... Kiko, Carmen & Co have decided to reserve the message only to the Neocatechumenals. The good news however, should be disseminated and known in every corner of the planet, either among Catholics as well as among non-Catholics! This is a serious omission on the part of the Neocatechumenal leaders. Bad for them!"

Confirmation without denial

Domus Galiaeae: main entrance, domed hall, library with special space for the Torah surrounded by Council seats
The administrator of the Facebook page confirmed in its response on January 3, the prohibition to make the news public. Neither the conversion of a group of Rabbis and the "more than a thousand Jews" nor the supposedly imminent "end of time" has been denied by the administrator. This presupposes that all members have been informed within the Neocatechumenal Way.
"Brother Elias, the peace of the Lord be with you. If you belong to the Neocatechumenal Way, you should have already had   the reason explained by your catechists why this message is not to be used in the social networks and the mass media. Now it is so. I'll explain: Although it's a nice message, and many of us are very pleased and moved, because it is a great mercy of the Lord who has enabled this whole event, the fact is that not all people in the world would accept God's humble and reasonable message.  
In the world there are always people who want to judge and criticize, and not be constructive, and also there are extremist groups that could act in the wrong way. All of this [not to make the message public is the decision of the management of the Neocatechumenal Way] is not something you decide lightly. It is also an inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as Mary at that time had concealed His message. That is why we invite you, do not be discouraged, but rather to uphold your spirits and pray so that at the appropriate moment, this message will be made ​​public in an appropriate manner. 
With best wishes, peace "

What does the Neocatechumenal Way know and conceal from  others?

Domus Galiaeae on the Mount of Beatitudes
But "Brother Elias"  himself was dissatisfied with this answer and wrote again on January 4:
"There's always some excuse for cowardice, inertia and isolation. [...] The world must be prepared for the grave implications which are indicated because this is the greatest message of all time: We know that what comes before this grandiose event, will be horrible and terrible and whoever is not be ready, will fall into the clutches of Satan! I insist, and I repeat: It is a serious omission. The blood of that will be drawn will fall upon all members of the Neocatechumenal Way, I assure you! "
An answer has not yet been written. What does the Neocatechumenal Way know, which all the others, including the Church do not know? Already the construction of the Domus Galiaeae was associated with End Times prophecy, according to which the Neocatechumenal Way is expecting the return of the Lord on the Mount of Beatitudes. An extensive, symbolically charged building complex of an unusual style, which is difficult for the outsider to decipher.
The Community was critical in Osservatorio sul Camino Neocatecumenale doubting the news that a group of rabbis, and more than a thousand Jews have converted to the Catholic Church.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Wikicommons / Facebook / (screenshots)
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The People Want the Old Church Back

The people want the old Church back -- Society of St. Pius X on the Street -- Stormtroopers Attack a Funeral Procession -- "Homosexual" insult every normal person -- An errant fringe group

The People Want the Old Church Back

Germany.  In many parts of the parishes there is now as before difficulties for the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council. The Essen Dogmatic theologian, Ralf Miggelbrink said this for the Catholic weekly 'Tag des Herrn' in the Diocese of Dresden-Meissen, Erfurt Gorlitz and Magdeburg.  In the hearts of people, the Pre-Conciliar still endures, the Dogmatic theologian says: "Many a pastor,  who had collected a lot of money from their communities in order to saw up  a linden wood high altar during the 70s, has produced harm which still has an effect."

Society of Pius X on the Street

Germany.  Last week about 150 Catholics prayed in front of the baby-slaughter organization 'pro familia' in Saarbrucken.  This was reported by ''.  The human butchery is part of the international child-murder firm 'Planned Parenthood'.  The human rights activists prayed the way of the cross for the unborn and drew along with candle light and torches through Saarbrucken.  They carried signs which had messages like: "God's Fifth Commandment: You should not kill" or "Abortion is Murder and therefore a serious sin".

Occupation Troops Attack a Funeral Procession

Occupied Palestine.  This Wednesday Israeli occupation troops attacked a Palestinian funeral procession in the 13,000 population city Beit Ummar -- eleven kilometers north west of Hebron.  This cause injury to some of the funeral guests.  The coordinator for the local people's committee against the building of the wall and new settlements, Mohammad Awad, reported to the news agency 'WAFA', that near the city cemetery, troops attacked the procession.  They fired tear gas grenades and noise bombs amid the people.  The inhalation of gas caused most of the injuries.

"Homosexual" insults every normal person

Germany.  Whoever reviles police officials as "homosexuals" will not be charged with a criminal offense.  The decision of the court of Tubingen went according to the anti-Church news site ''.  The concept "homosexual" is apparently not damaging to the reputation or degrading but value-neutral.  The accused had insulted a police official as "homosexual", "dirty ...." and "fairy".  For the last two insults and further infractions like assault with bodily harm the accused was fined with a fine of 1,350 euros.

An errant fringe group

"A very strong presence, in the armor of Our Lord, against the homosexual minority, who are treated as if they were a significant part of our society, and not as an errant fringe group.  Keep it up, continue to expose the lies of those who are lost, so that they can be brought to truth."

From a missive to Europe's largest Catholic site ''

Link to

Friday, October 12, 2012

Newsbytes -- Berlin's Cardinal Woelki Nominated for Homosexual Award

Celebrant in the Old Pontifical Mass in the St. Peter's Basilica -- Berlin's Cardinal Honored by Homosexual Organization -- Israeli Military Vehicles Enter Gaza Strip -- Reconciliation with the SSPX not Desired -- Legionaries of Christ Under New Leadership

Vatican.  The Traditional Pontifical Mass on the 3rd of November celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica will be celebrated by the Prefect of the Liturgy Commission, Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera.  This will be reported by the organizers shortly.  There are several thousand pilgrims expected for the pontifical Mass.  At first there were rumors circulating that Pope Benedict XVI was going to celebrate the Mass.

Berlin Cardinal Nominated for Homosexual Prize

Germany.  Berlin's Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki has been nominated for a dubious homosexual honor.  This was according to the Berlin association "Bündnis gegen Homophobie".  The alliance is advertised on the homepage of the anti-Church association "Lesbians and Gays Germany".  The Cardinal is on a list of nominees with the singer Gabi Decker, the Turkish feminist Seyran Ateş and the infamous German urine showered David Berger.  At the end of November one will be chosen.  Cardinal Woelki was nominated because at the Katholikentag (an festival event going over days with a lot of "ecumenism" which could be described as unCatholic) in Mannheim in harsh contrast to the Faith, he recognized homosexual unions:  "If two homosexuals responsibly take care of one another, if they are stable and true with each other, you must see that in a similar way like heterosexual relationships."

Israeli Military Vehicles Drove into Gaza Strip

Occupied Palestine.  Israeli military vehicles drove this Wednesday several hundred meters into the area of the village of Sofa over the border zone-- east of the 71,000 population city of Rafa on the southern border of the Gaza Strip.  Two bulldozers accompanied the border guards as usual.  They were greeted by massive rifle fire fro the houses of those surprised living nearby.  Then as usual, the fields, which were full of crops just before the harvest, were rolled over.  This occurrence was followed by an air attack by the Israelis on the 60,000 population city of Beit Lahya in the north of the Gaza Strip.  A rocket attack destroyed homes there.   There was panic among the inhabitants.

No Reconciliation is Desired With the Society of St. Pius X

Vatican.  It is up to the Society of St. Pius X to reconcile itself.  That is what the Faith's Guardian, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller said for the Catholic newspaper 'Tagespost'.  The Pope has exhausted all possibilities:  "We could not persuade them."  The Vatican is supposed to never have sought a compromise in doctrinal questions:  "The Church is not a negotiating partner where the truth is convened."  They don't wish their separate parts to return as part of negotiations.  There are no compromises possible in doctrinal questions -- explained the Archbishop, known for his own doctrinal errors.

Legionaries of Christ Under New Leadership

Mexico.  The General Superior of an order troubled by the abuse scandal,  'Legionaries of Christ', Father Alvaro Corcuera (55) has been put into retirement.  This was reported by the Order in a press release.  The reason was because of necessary health and ability, to lead the Order in this historical moment. Transitionally, the General Vicar, the German Sylvester Heereman (38),  will lead the Order.  The Papal delegate of the Order, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis (76), stressed that this is not an official ouster and that no new director will be elected.

Link to

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jerusalem: Anti-Christian Slogans Smeared on Monastery Walls

Christian clergy and nuns were spit on or had stones thrown at them, New Testaments were burned.  Radical Jewish settlers are prime suspects.

Jerusalem ( The walls of a Greek Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem are smeared with anti-Christian graffiti. Unknown individuals sprayed among other things, "Death to Christians". Press reports suggest that the signature "Maccabees of Mignon" point to settlers as the originators of the defacing. "Maccabees of Mignon" is the name of an illegal settlement near Ramallah in West Jordan.

In the past Christians were repeated victims of attacks by ultra-Orthodox Jews. The ecumenical news agency ENI news reported that Christian clergy and nuns were spit on or had stones thrown at them, and that anti-Christian statements were sprayed on the walls of church buildings. The religious court Beth Din Tzedek, the highest authority for ultra-Orthodox community in Haredi, has sharply condemned these activities. Also, messianic Jews, who believe in Jesus Christ as the chosen Messiah of Israel, complain about stalking by Orthodox Jews. They accuse the anti-Christian recruits of Jewish Orthodox Groups Yad L'Achim of passing out fliers and holding demonstrations, accusing them of 'steeling souls and attempting to "brainwash" Jews'. A New Testament was burned. Of the 7.7 million inhabitants of Israel, 76 percent are Jews, 15 are Muslim and 2 percent are Christian. The number of Messianic Jews stands from 10.000 to 15.000.

  Link to

Monday, March 21, 2011

Christian Palestinian victim 'stabbed 10 times [allegededly] by Zionist haredim' terrorists!

Editor: You've got to pick a side.  We're on the Catholic side, every day, all day, to the death.  If a Jew fell upon a Catholic in Palestine, would anyone hear about it?  Let's hope the Israeli government, which has almost nothing to do with authentic Judaism as many Orthodox Rabbis will attest, does something to put a stop to this.  Christians have been leaving Palestine over many years for obvious reasons.

Hassan Shaalan
Published: 03.20.11

Alber Halul, who was stabbed Saturday night by a group of masked men he claims are haredim, recounted the attack Sunday. "They threatened to shoot us if we resisted and stabbed me 10 times – in my head, my leg, and my neck," he told Ynet.

Halul, a 22-year old Christian Arab from the Galilee town of Gush Halav, was assaulted while with a group of friends at Ein Zeitim forest, near Safed.

He says that at around 12:30 am two vehicles arrived at their gathering place and eight masked men alighted, and attacked them. Halul is currently being treated for wounds in his back, head, and legs at Ziv Hospital in Safed.

"At around 12:30 five masked drove up in a Nissan jeep and began driving in circles near us. Then they left and came back with another vehicle, and came closer," he recalled from his hospital bed.

"They threw stun grenades and fired in the air. Then eight masked men got out of the car and began to attack us. The guys I was with ran away but I stayed to protect a girl who was with us. They stabbed me 10 times in my head, my leg, and my neck until they hit me hard and I fell to the ground."

Halul says he knows the men were ultra-Orthodox Jews although they wore masks. "While they were attacking us one of the said that if we dared to resist they'll shoot us and we knew from their accent and their clothes that they were ultra-Orthodox," he said.

It wasn't the first time the 22-year old was attacked due to his race. "I won't return to the forest again. The Jews' hatred and racism against us has reached a point of real violence that threatens our lives," he said.

"I don't want to blame anyone and hope that the police will reach the people behind this attack because such people shouldn't be walking the streets – they are a menace to the Jewish and Arab public."

But police have not yet made any arrests in the case, and say they have no suspects. "The case is still being investigated," police said in a statement.,7340,L-4045047,00.html

Friday, October 29, 2010

German Politicians Have Fearfully Underestimated the Islam-Problem: Cardinal Koch on Middle East Summit

The Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch is the new Official heading the Vatican Office for Ecumenism. A discussion about Christian in the Holy Land, Minarets in Europe and the current Islam-Debate.

Rome ( As the successor of the Curial Cardinal, Walter Kasper, the former Basel Archbishop Kurt Koch will become the next President for the Papal Adviser for the Promotion of the Unity of Christians -- a kind of "ecumenical minister" of the Vatican. Koch was born in 1950 in Emmenbrucke in the Canton of Luzern. As his first challenge was a two week Synod in the Vatican on the situation of Christians in the Middle East. Paul Badde of Die Welt interviewed him.

Die Welt
Hardly in office, you were confronted with the extremely difficult Middle East Summit. How would you describe your idea of the situation?

Koch: There are two realities. First, the various churches of the Middle East came together in order to advise and find new ways into the future. The second was just as important and pressing: That the diversity of the churches are brought to the consciousness of the public. If Christianity in the Holy Land is only stones and buildings, memorial sites and no more people, then a basic value has gone lost. The Middle East without the churches would be a horrible historical occurrence. That the whole Universal Church is concerned about this event and must stay in solidarity, is a very high and important value.

Die Welt You are not just threatened by external enemies. Are your conflicts not only conflicts between each other -- which have been taking place for more than a 1000 years?

Koch: It was very clear at the Synod, that communal is important to pursue and note, that one can only be strong together. Surely there are many open questions, and naturally you can't always discuss them in every detail, where many of the problems are subsumed. Really what is needed is a strong will to forge a common way to the future.

Die Welt Now there are only above all the various Catholic Church coming together. Isn't the greatest problem in the Middle East the conflict with the Greek Orthodox Church, who consider the Catholics only as heretics? Or is there a substantial movement from the leadership since the visit of Paul VI to Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem in 1964?

Koch: This movement was a tremendous start, which has proven fruitful in a decade-long discussion. None the less, the dialog since the year 2000 because of various problems has been broken again. Really it is Pope Benedict XVI within the last four months by his own decision, to get this discussion back on its feet. It is clear that we will need more time than previously planned.

Die Welt Which role does the separated Jerusalem have in the Drama of Christendom?

Koch: Jerusalem is a completely accurate picture for the real situation, was we have it today, with the various religions and above all even the various churches, their various liturgies. The conflicts over the precise location where one can celebrate, is however a good example of how things shouldn't go in the future with the progress of this divisiveness in Christianity. In so far as a visit to Jerusalem is always very beautiful,, because one comes back to the origins, but it's also sad, because one sees the concrete situation.

Die Welt Is Jerusalem not also a picture of "Many dwellings in the house of the Father"? [what a dumb question]

Surely the diversity is not in itself bad. This was shown even in the Synod in its many colors, where everyone is astonished, how very diverse the Catholic Church is. That is the greater kingdom. But only if one considers the other side and looks together for a common way into the future. The diversity and multiplicity is good in itself, when correlation leads to enrichment. Right in Jerusalem there is for this reason still a drama playing itself out.
That is namely the greatest division that we have, the division between Synagogue and Church.

Die Welt: What do you mean?

Koch: Because Jerusalem today has become the precise model of division, in the level that even appears between Christianity and Judaism. St Paul had hoped that this division would be put aside and we could really come to unity, therefore to a Church of Jews and Gentiles as the true people of God. That is the great hope, but Paul had in any case had it. For that reason we must continue to nourish it.

DIE WELT Only Paul was himself a Jew and was much closer to the Synagogue

Koch: That's right, even in his journey he stayed close to the Synagogue and preached to the Jews, but first he went to the Gentiles. In the Letter to the Romans he had later exactly described why some went their own way from the Gospel. That he understood the deeper significance of the rejection by the majority of the Jews that the message of Jesus must be brought firstly to the whole world. It is the great secret, that Israel remain the chosen people, but still await the Messiah. That is the greatest question with which they are concerned.

DIE WELT Can you describe other questions in the foreground? In the "Short Story of the Anti-Christ" by Vladimir Soloviev which was written a century before, which predicted the end of the World in Jerusalem. Recently the monks here in Rome from the Holy Land said that the next fearful conflict in the Middle East is expected either before or after Christmas. Were such fears expressed in the Synod?

Koch: One such advent of such an event is not known to me and so I can't substantiate it. But one can be certain, that this conflict is ongoing and will come to a head. That is realistic enough. What other such concrete notions come to mind, if anything, everyone is cautious.

DIE WELT In Switzerland we've experienced the conflict over minarets. What would you say to the Germans in their recent Islam-debate?

Koch: I have the general impression that the politicians have fearfully underestimated the problem with Islam in Europe. In Switzerland we have for example a Court of Religion with Jews, Muslims and Christians and we want the National Court sensitized at an early stage toward Problems, which were the subject of the Minarets. The National Courts had solved this problem simply by referring it to building rights. Therefore it was not discernible which anxieties should have been attached to the Minaret Question. These anxieties, however, had to be taken into consideration, which responsible politics does.

DIE WELT: And what would you advise Germans, who want to be taken seriously, which have had in their midst a large Islamic Community for a long time?

Koch: Firstly, that one has to open ones' eyes and see reality, that there are substantial differences between religions, which also reflect culture and not to wipe it from the table. A natural difference is naturally that Christianity had to learn in its long history, that only the consequent separation of State and of Religion of Church has its assigned and adequate area in society. There is still a much greater trouble spot buried there.

DIE WELT: Can Europe's Christians learn something from those of the Middle East?

Koch: Absolutely yes to the last question, quite a lot. From them they could learn a model, how one can co-exist with Muslims. How one can lead a dialogue with them. There they have a very leading edge of experience from their history. And that can help us. They cultivate contacts. If one doesn't learn this, then there remain only anxieties.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Making Sense of Benedict’s Jewish Policy –

Making Sense of Benedict’s Jewish Policy –

John Allen

By this stage, outsiders trying to make sense of Pope Benedict XVI’s approach to Jewish-Catholic relations might be forgiven for wondering if the pontiff suffers from an undiagnosed case of schizophrenia.

After all, this is the pope who made a point of visiting a Cologne synagogue in 2005 on his first foreign trip, and Auschwitz on his second, only later to revive a controversial Good Friday prayer for the conversion of Jews. More recently, this is the pope who rehabilitated a Holocaust-denying traditionalist bishop and who announced that Pope Pius XII (whose alleged “silence” during the Holocaust remains a bone of contention between Jews and Catholics) is a step closer to sainthood, only to visit Rome’s Great Synagogue on January 17 to express his “esteem and affection” for Judaism, and to pledge that the “faces, names, tears and desperation” of Holocaust victims must never be forgotten.

We see that John Allen is as slavishly devoted as ever to the party line, but he is right after all considering Holy Father's ultimate concern in his policy that, "Benedict’s top priority is internal, directed at the inner life of the Catholic Church. His aim is to restore a strong sense of traditional Catholic identity, in order to inoculate the church against infection by radical secularism." However, there are others, in Israel, who view things a little bit differently, like this Jewish paper which views Benedict's maneuvers as essentially hostile. We've seen a lot of negative reaction to Benedict's various changes and some of his public acts which don't bode well for an integralist Catholic viewpoint, like changinig the Good Friday prayers to make the Jews and the traditionalists happy at the same time. The prayer actually called for the conversion of the Jews, and a loud minority were, not suprisingly, unhappy with the prayer and their views were reported far and wide. Fact is, most Jews don't care about Benedict's activities, they don't go to services either. Why don't we spend more time talking to those Jews and get them to come to Mass, permanently!

Vatican Blames Israel for Driving Christians Out of the Area

January 20, 2010

A Vatican synod being convened by Monsignor Nikola Eterovic will address an internal document addressing the plight of the dwindling Christian minority in the rapidly growing Islamic population in the Mideast. 150 bishops are expected to attend the synod which will be held on October 10-24.

The internal Vatican documents pertaining to the meeting place the ongoing Israel-PA (Palestinian Authority) conflict at the heart of regional instability and conflict, adding “radical terrorism” over recent years exploited the conflict towards advancing political Islam in countries including Egypt.

Israel’s “ongoing occupation” is blamed for restricted access to houses of worship in those areas, hampering religious life. In Iraq, the report states all Iraqis became victims but the small and weak Christian population was among the principal victims.

The Vatican believes the solution remains in the hands of “the stronger countries, to settle the conflict between Israel and the PA.

A Vatican statement added “Violence is in the hands of the strong and weak alike, the latter resorting to whatever violence is within reach in order to be free.”

When asked if the Vatican document was referring to yishuvim throughout Yehuda and Shomron and ongoing construction in the eastern capital, Eterovic explained that while the Vatican was not making policy decisions, it does adhere to and accept the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, which in this case, support the Roadmap Plan and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

The bishop added that while many of the 17 million Christians living between Iran and Egypt have fled, the numbers of Christians in the region has grown due to the influx of manual laborers, Christians, in a number of Arab countries, some that had a minimal or no Christian presence prior to their arrival.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Palestinian Nun raised to the Altars

AP) – 23 hours ago

NAZARETH, Israel — A Palestinian nun who co-founded a charity dedicated to educating Arab girls on Sunday took an important step toward sainthood.

Thousands of worshippers gathered in the biblical town of Nazareth to attend the beatification of the late Sister Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas.

Ghattas helped found the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem in the 1880s. The order, highly regarded in Palestinian communities, continues to run schools for Palestinian girls in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Ghattas died in Jerusalem in 1927 at the age of 83.

During Sunday's ceremony, the church unveiled a portrait of Ghattas.

Pope Benedict XVI approved the beatification in July — the final step before sainthood.

"The beatification of such an important figure of a woman is a particular comfort for the Catholic community in the Holy Land," Benedict said during his traditional Sunday noon blessing in St. Peter's Square.

Article here...

Who was Sister Marie Alphonsine Ghatta?

On November 22, Sister Marie Alphonsine will be solemnly beatified in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. This is an opportunity to reflect on the life of this girl from Jerusalem to whom the Holy Virgin inspired the founding of the Congregation of the Rosary Sisters , the only indigenous religious community in the Holy Land.
Sultanah Maria Ghattas was born in Jerusalem on the 4th of October, 1843, and baptized on the 19th of November the same year. On 18th July, 1852, she received the Sacrament of Confirmation from the hands of His Beatitude Giuseppe Valerga, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

At the age of 14, she joined the Congregation of St. Joseph of the Apparition as a Postulant. On the 30th of June, 1860, she received the Holy Habit of the Religious of St. Joseph of the Apparition. Two years later, in 1862, she pronounced her three vows. In Bethlehem where she was assigned, she was entrusted with the teaching of Catechism. Besides, she founded Confraternities and Associations and promoted the devotion to Our Lady through the prayer of the Rosary.

She was favored with several apparitions of Our Lady who revealed to Mother Marie Alphonsine Her desire to begin the Congregation of the Rosary. The Virgin Mary appointed Fr. Joseph Tannous as her Director to administer the Congregation of the Rosary.

Read further her story...