Portugal Lieutenancy on pilgrimage in the Holy Land
JERUSALEM – On Sunday, January 31, 2016, the Portuguese Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem arrived in the Holy Land as part of their bi-annual pilgrimage.
This year the delegation of 67 participants, ten priests, knights and dames, as new candidates; were invested in the Holy Sepulcher by Bishop William Shomali on February 7, 2016. Bishop Shomali thanked the Lieutenancy “for all the moral, spiritual and material support that the knights and dames offer to the Holy Land” and reminded them “what a privilege it is to celebrate their investiture very close to the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus suffered death and was rewarded with resurrection, the place where love overcame hatred and light overcame darkness”.
D. Nuno Van Uden, Lieutenant of Portugal for the Order led the delegation, accompanied by his chancellor, secretary and ecclesiastical ceremonial officer.
On February 8, Patriarch Fouad Twal presented the pilgrim shells to 27 knights, a reminder of their christening and a symbol of their affiliation to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. Moreover, the Patriarch thanked the Portuguese Lieutenancy for the warm welcome he received when celebrated Mass in the Shrine of Our Lady Fatima in Portugal in May 2014, where more than 300,000 fervent faithful attended the solemn mass on May, 13, 2014. During his trip, he was also honored by the President of the Portuguese Republic with the Grand Order of Merit Cross.
During the pilgrimage, the knights and dames also visited three of the projects sponsored by their Lieutenancy: the physiotherapy room at Beit Afram, the Home for the Elderly in Taybeh, the garden renovation at Deir Rafat, Shrine of Our Lady of Palestine, and the renovation of the Project Development Office at the Patriarchate’s headquarters in Jerusalem.
The Lieutenant mentioned the importance and significance for every knight to come to the Holy Land in order to find the roots of their faith, to learn about the works of the Patriarchate in the Holy Land and to see the results of their contributions for projects that directly benefit the local Christian communities.