JERUSALEM – On Sunday January 31st, 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, of which 10 priests, knights and dames, as new candidates; were invested in the Holy Sepulcher by HE Bishop William Shomali on February 7, 2016. On the occasion, 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, accompanied by his chancellor, secretary and ecclesiastical ceremonial officer, led the delegation.
On February 8, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem held a ceremony hosted by HB Patriarch Fouad Twal, where 27 knights received the pilgrim’s shells, a reminder of their christening and a symbol of their affiliation to the Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. Moreover, the Patriarch thanked the Portuguese lieutenancy for the warm welcome he received when he presided over a mass in the Shrine of Our Lady Fatima in Portugal on May, 2014. The Patriarch was welcomed by more than 300,000 fervent faithful for the solemn mass on May, 13, 2014. During his trip, he was also honored by the President of the Portuguese Republic with the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit.
On the occasion of the pilgrimage, the knights and dames have also visited three of the projects sponsored by their lieutenancy: The physiotherapy room at Beit Afram, the elderly Home in Taybeh, the garden renovation at Deir Rafat – Our Lady of Palestine, and the installations of the Project Development Office at the Patriarchate’s headquarters in Jerusalem.
During the pilgrimage, 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 result of their contribution on the projects, directly benefiting the local Christian communities.