Cycling 4 600 kms from West to East
After nearly three months of travelling more than 4,600 kms, the seven Belgian pilgrims who left Brussels from the Church of our Lady of Sablon, the Chapter Church of the Belgian Lieutenancy of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, reached their destination and handed €77,000 worth of donations collected to the Creche orphanage in Bethlehem.
At the initiative of one of the Order’s members, Daniel van Steenberghe, the Belgian Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order organized this truly exceptional pilgrimage. In addition to two members, Michel Duponcheele – who had already made the walking pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and Ghislain della Faille, five pilgrims joined them for this adventure. Their daily journey was posted on a blog ( click here ).
They arrived in Bethlehem and then Jerusalem where they were received by Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem and Consul General of Belgium, Mr. Bruno Jans and Sister Elisabeth Noirot, who is in charge of the orphanage in Bethlehem. Bishop Shomali highlighted the exceptional merits of these pilgrims who did not hesitate to go beyond their limits for the poorest of the Holy Land. It should be noted that their ages ranged from 61 to 72 years. The oldest pilgrim, Jean-Claude Gourcy, upon arrival, gladly and without hesitation, participated in the olive harvest to help the orphanage!
His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem joined the in the welcome ceremony and said, that this pilgrimage is not only a unique personal approach, but is also an example for many others who want to help the Holy Land and Christian institutions in particular.