MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II
TO HIS BEATITUDE PATRIARCH MICHEL SABBAH
ON THE OCCASION OF THE DEDICATION
OF THE CHAPEL OF DOMUS GALILAEAE
To His Beatitude
Archbishop Michel Sabbah
Patriarch of Jerusalem
I was delighted to learn that on Sunday, 11 January 2004, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, you will be presiding at the rite for the dedication of the Chapel of Domus Galilaeae located on the Mount of the Beatitudes - Korazim. I remember with emotion my Apostolic Pilgrimage on 24 March 2000 when on the Mount of the Beatitudes itself, not far from the place where Jesus first multiplied the loaves, I had the opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist for numerous faithful of the Holy Land and many young members of the Neocatechumenal Way. On that occasion God granted me to visit and bless the Shrine of the Word, a welcoming place for anyone who wishes to penetrate the Sacred Scriptures in an atmosphere of prayer and contemplation.
The Chapel that is now being solemnly dedicated enables us to contemplate the supreme mystery of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist; and the fresco of the Last Judgment that decorates the apse invites us to turn our gaze to those ultimate realities of faith which illumine our daily pilgrimage on earth.
I willingly join in the intense spiritual moment which this Christian community is preparing to live and I send it my affectionate greeting. I extend a special greeting to the Prelates, the representatives of the religious communities, the clergy, the ecclesial movements and the civil Authorities present. I greet the organizers of the Neocatechumenal Way who will be directing the retreat scheduled to take place in Domus Galilaeae from 7 to 16 January, as well as the brothers and sisters who will be taking part in it.
I ask you, Venerable Brother, kindly to convey my cordial sentiments to all those present, as I express the hope that this important event will be an encouragement to all to renew their adherence to Christ, Redeemer of the world. May the Virgin of Nazareth, Mother of the Church and Star of the new evangelization, guide the steps of believers in the Holy Land and obtain for them the gift of an ever more courageous fidelity to the Gospel.
With these sentiments I send to you, to the sponsors of the meeting, to all the members of the spiritual family of the Domus Galilaeae and to everyone who will be taking part in the sacred rite a special Apostolic Blessing.
From the Vatican, 6 January 2004
JOHN PAUL II
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