Cyclist from Ireland arrives in Bethlehem
Chev. Frank Hearns, of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher from Ireland was on the roads of Europe for a month. He came from Malahide, Ireland by bicycle for a pilgrimage to Bethlehem in the Holy Land.
This brave cyclist, who turned 70 years old during his tour was accompanied by a friend, Blaise O’Rourke. Together they traveled some 3,000 kilometers, starting from the Carmel of St. Joseph of Malahide. They first crossed the Channel by boat to France, then traveled the roads of Italy and Greece before flying to Tel Aviv. They then resumed traveling on bicycles to Bethlehem. They were welcomed by Sister Sophie Boueri, Director of the Holy Family Children’s Home who received from Sir Frank 100,000 euros in donations collected from the Irish Knights and friends.
“Everywhere, we were met with exceptional hospitality and kindness in the countries we visited, and there are many stories to tell,” said Sir Frank, “a Greek who, seeing my T-shirt in the colors of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre offered me hospitality for the night.”
The event had been carefully prepared, while leaving much to improvisation and surprises along the route. It was an experience like a real pilgrimage by the Irish Knights, marked by daily prayer and Sunday Mass as food on the long road to the Holy Land.
On his arrival in Jerusalem, Bishop William Shomali, Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem warmly welcomed him expressing friendship and recognition of the local Church. “The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre is a great help for our community. Its members are generous with their ongoing support and evangelization, may it continue along this path.”
“The journey is often more important than the goal in itself ,” said Sir Frank, “and with all my heart I sincerely thank those who helped me make this pilgrimage possible.”