On the second day of a series of liturgies, the Custos of the Holy Land made his solemn entry into the Basilica of the Resurrection as ‘Guardian of the Holy Sepulcher’.
On June 7, the second day of liturgies for the entrance of the new Custos, was celebrated in the heart of Christianity in Jerusalem.
The solemn entry into the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher was accompanied by the friars and by a group of Italian bishops. Father Francis received the greetings of the leaders of the Armenian and Greek Orthodox Churches, which, with the Franciscans, are in charge of the Basilica.
Before the Anointing Stone, Father Patton took a moment to revere the site where the body of Jesus was anointed, then headed toward the shrine.
He then paused for a moment of silent prayer before the empty tomb, in which Christ’s body was buried: he looked like a pilgrim in contemplation of the sacred place.
Father Patton left the sanctuary and headed towards the Franciscan Chapel ‘of the Meeting’, where according to Christian tradition, Jesus appeared risen to his Mother Mary.
After the new Custos received the greeting of all the friars, the Italian bishops as well as the representatives of other Christian churches, they processed into the Basilica.
The solemn entry of the Custos into the Holy Sepulcher has a very special meaning. Together with two other Christian communities, the Franciscans are responsible for the holy place, which gives the Custos the title of ‘Guardian of the Holy Sepulcher’.