Blessing of icons of Chapel of the Unity at International Center Mary of Nazareth
Nazareth – Friday, June 8, during the Evening Prayer of the Chemin Neuf Community,
Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, blessed the latest icons placed in the Chapel of Unity at the “Mary of Nazareth” International Center. Bishop Benoit Rivière, Bishop of Autun (France), present in Nazareth during a pilgrimage of his diocese accompanied Bishop Marcuzzo, on this occasion.
Lay and religious friends of the Center shared this time with the Community. The chapel is now a lovely place of prayer. One can contemplate the 20 mysteries of the Rosary by means of these icons, which are like pages of the Gospel offered for meditation by Christians and pilgrims who gather in this place. To complete the overall framework, the icons of Jesus and Mary and that of the Holy Family, are placed on each side of the fresco of the Annunciation.
These icons and frescoes are the work of a Latvian Catholic couple of the Chemin Neuf community: Kaspar and Poikans Ruta. They were trained at the Orthodox monastery of Mirozka in Pskov, Russia and now are working at the studio of St. Luke Abbey in Dombes, France.
The word of God, chosen from the letter Apostle Paul to the Colossians (1.15), offered for meditation Christ “the image of the invisible God”. “It is Christ that we contemplate in these icons”, said Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo during his homily. He also explained how Nazareth is the “capital” of the icon thanks to the Yes of Mary that allowed the Incarnation of the Word. He also mentioned Saint John Damascene: “Through the Incarnation the Word became flesh, through the icon the flesh becomes Word”.
At the end of Vespers, the assembly prayed for the visitors of this chapel, so that this divine light may illuminate them, so that all the families receive the graces and the aid of the Holy Family. Moreover, he also prayed for peace, especially in this Middle East region. Finally, in the evening the participants got together in the cafeteria for a friendly toast.