7,000 Catholics celebrate mass on International Day of Faith in Nazareth

Pilgrims from Italy, Brazil, Spain, UK , Japan, Poland, the Palestinian Authority and neighboring countries took part in the festivities.

Seven thousand Catholic faithful took part in the International Day of Faith celebrations on Mount Precipice in Nazareth. The festive mass was led by His Beatitude, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Tual.

The event at Mount Precipice included an artistic program that featured choirs from Catholic communities around the world, followed by celebration of the Eucharist. Pilgrims came from Italy, Brazil, Spain, UK , Japan, Poland, the Palestinian Authority and neighboring countries.

International Day of Faith celebrations on Mount Precipice. (Nissim Schorer)

The Latin Patriarch thanked “all those who came from the region and around the world to participate in these cherished moments in the Holy Land.”

Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: "We welcome you on this important day. Collaboration between the Catholic church and the Tourism Ministry is important for us." (Nitzan Schorer)

Also in attendance were His Beatiitude Archbishop Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem for Latins and His Excellency, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Nuncio to Israel.

The celebrations in Nazareth, which will be followed next week (24 November 2013) by the closing event of the Year of Faith in the Vatican, were led by the Catholic Church with the assistance of the Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the Ministry for the Development of the Galilee, Israel Police, the Nazareth Municipality, KKL-JNF and the Nazareth Association for Tourism and Culture.

During the Mass, a letter from His Excellency Pope Francis was read: “The history of our faith finds its origins in the very land where you celebrate. Before we can understand our own personal history of faith and our need for God’s mercy, we must all turn to that place and time when Jesus himself walked among us.”

Pope Benedict XVI opened the Year of Faith, as an opportunity for all Catholics to rediscover a journey of faith, with a declaration in Rome in October 2012.

Latin Patriarch: "Thank you for your presence and your efforts." (Nitzan Schorer)

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.