A Franciscan LENTEN Thought

St. Francis at Prayer

From Our Pastoral Council

There was a simple stone slab on the floor with a solitary cross. It was smooth and cool to the touch and lay in front of the entrance to the tomb; it was the Anointing Stone.  The tomb had an anteroom and a second room with a cracked slab – the Holy Sepulchre.  

Trust God

From the tomb’s opening, I looked up and saw a relief sculpture of Calvary across the Church with Jesus crucified between two thieves.

I have longed to visit the Holy Land to see the sacred shrines where our Lord lived, preached, and endured His passion and resurrection.  Yet, with the events of our times, it was not to be.  Blessed are those who have been able to travel to the Holy Land!

But here in our nation’s capital sits the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, celebrating its 125th anniversary.  It has replicas of many of the shrines of the Holy Land, including the Grotto of Gethsemane, Calvary, the Anointing Stone, and the Holy Sepulchre, among many other beautiful shrines and chapels.

For 800 years, the Holy Land Franciscans have been caring for the people of the Holy Land and preserving the holy sites. In 1898, Fr. Godfrey Schilling, OFM, completed his vision to extend the Franciscans’ work to the United States. He reproduced the sacred shrines at the Monastery to |encourage pilgrimages and allow those who could not make such a journey to see and experience the shrines.

This Lent, do not be satisfied to listen to the stories of the Passion of Christ.  Seek to walk with our Lord through His suffering.  Add your prayer to Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, offer your fasting to be joined with Jesus’ suffering on the way to the cross, and give alms to those in need just as the Son of God taught, preached, healed, fed…and saved those who believe in Him.

May this Lenten season bring you into communion with the life and Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(En Español)

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