Jesus’ manifestation to the disciples in Emmaus commemorated on the Monday of the Angel

The Custos of the Holy Land was welcomed to Emmaus Al-Qubeibeh by a large crowd, the band, the scouts and the mayor. In order to commemorate Jesus’ manifestation to the disciples in Emmaus, every year the Custody leads a pilgrimage to Al-Qubeibeh on the Monday of the Angel. Recognized as the village mentioned in the Gospel (even though there are three other places that could be the potential locations), Al-Qubeibeh waits for this feast all year. Several buses and dozens of cars from Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Ramallah and the surrounding areas arrived at the Franciscan sanctuary in the morning. Upon his entrance to the village, the Custos of the Holy Land was accompanied by the crowd and escorted by Br. Salem Younis, the guardian of the shrine, and by the mayor of Emmaus, Hasanen Hammudah. Also present was the Apostolic Delegate to Palestine, Mons. Leopoldo Girelli.

“In this village, nearly all of the residents are Muslim, but this is a huge feast for everyone. It is the village party,” explained the mayor. Once everyone arrived at the Franciscan church, the mass that was presided over by the Custos was celebrated and the Gospel was proclaimed, thus officially beginning the solemnity. The disciples recognized Jesus from the breaking of the bread and that is why bread is at the heart of the feast. The representation of this moment is depicted in the church at Emmaus and there is a particular sign that commemorates it: bread baskets are blessed, and then, at the end of the mass, the Custos of the Holy Land distributes the loaves to those present. This tradition was repeated again this year.
“Today in this celebration we are the disciples in Emmaus and Jesus walks with us; he explains the Scriptures to us and breaks the bread for us,” said the Custos, Fr. Francesco Patton. The homily was said by Br. Nerwan Al-Banna, the parish priest of the Latin parish in Jerusalem.

“This is where the miracle of the disciples of Emmaus, who recognized Jesus after the breaking of the bread, happened,” said Fr. Salem, the guardian of the monastery. So, we Christians also came here today to meet Jesus and to celebrate Holy Easter in this little shrine.”

After the mass, the Custos of the Holy Land, along with the fraternity of Emmaus, met the mayor for the [traditional] exchange of Easter greetings, in the presence of the only Christian family left in the village.
Next to the home of the seminary residence, which is now empty, long tables were set up in the large soccer field. Those who participated in the celebration, ate their lunch there. Then everyone had time to enjoy the beautiful view and the sunshine, until the time for the celebration of the Vespers in the church took place. Before leaving, Fr. Salem and the Custos of the Holy Land blessed a room that had been restored in the monastery.

Beatrice Guarrera

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