The Holy Land in Milan for the Meeting of Families
From 30 May to 3 June, in Milan, will take place the 7th World Meeting of Families. This will be the occasion in which Nazareth, a city of the family par excellence, will re-launch its project of an “International Center for the spirituality of the family”.
The journey of these meetings of the family started in Rome in 1994, on the occasion of the international year of the family motivated by Pope John Paul II, and it passed through Rio de Janeiro, again through Rome, and then Manila, Valencia, Mexico and now Milan, following a rhythm of three years. Even the local Church of the Holy Land is preparing for this meeting. A representation of our “Committee of the inter-church family” and a larger delegation (16 members of which 12 are couples) of the Holy Land, led by the Patriarch and Bishop Maroun Lahham, Episcopal delegate for the pastoral care of the family, will participate in the meeting in Milan.
A preparatory document, with the catechesis drawn up by the Church in Milan, translated into Arabic in Lebanon and printed by the AOCTS was distributed in all communities, institutions and Catholic parishes of all the rites in the Holy Land.
An international center for the spirituality of family in Nazareth soon?
Nazareth, the city of family par excellence, prepares, therefore, in a very special way. The Holy See and, especially, the Cardinal Ennio Antonelli of the Pontifical Council for the Family (PCF) wants to take advantage of the meeting in Milan to re-launch the project of an “International Center for the spirituality of the family” in Nazareth. This project was conceived by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez de Trujillo, announced and launched by Pope John Paul II in Rio de Janeiro in 1997 when a family from Nazareth offered him an “icon of the Holy Family of Nazareth” destined to become the icon of the new Center.
In 2000 the same pope John Paul II blessed the model of the project in the Basilica of the Annunciation; in turn Pope Benedict XVI, in 2009 at the Mount of Precipice, blessed the cornerstone of the Center.
But the project has not yet been fulfilled for practical reasons. Now, the Holy See is determined and ready to solve the legal, financial and location issues: a magnificent terrain on the hill west of Nazareth. The project and its construction have been entrusted to the “Movement for the Renewal in the Spirit” whose president and Salvatore Martinez. The Milan meeting therefore has as a great opportunity to re-launch the project to promote the participation and the solidarity of Christian families throughout the world.
The PCF and Renewal have instructed RAI to prepare a spot that will be shown during the vigil of the Pope with families, Saturday, June 2. The video prepared in Nazareth on May 15 and 16, includes the living witnesses of a few families, a speech by the city’s mayor, Mr. Ramez Jarayseh and one offered by Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo who has already coordinated local participation at four meetings of the same type. The program largely includes images of the Grotto of Mary and of the place in which the Center will be built. It also shows the “cornerstone” blessed by the Pope (250 kg of beautiful black granite) and the beautiful “icon of the Holy Family of Nazareth” delivered in 1997 to John Paul II, given by him to the Center that he himself had announced.
From our correspondent in Nazareth
Photo CSFN and S.A.K.