BETHLEHEM : “Come to Bethlehem ! Christians need the solidarity of pilgrims”. It is the vibrant appeal sent by Caritas Baby Hospital of Bethlehem, coming few days after that of the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM.

In a video published on Tuesday, Sr Donatella Lessio, working for the hospital since many years, says she feels the considerable drop in the number of pilgrims – coming from Europe more especially ; of pilgrims who are scared of coming to the Holy Land, discouraged by the old time instability of this tortured region. A fear which Sr Donatella tries to cool down : “There is nothing to fear ! Here everything is quiet. Here , more than anywhere else, security is not failing. As Christians, we cannot experience fear, for as St John said, “the one that carries fear cannot love”.

This simple appeal falls within a campaign promoted by the Association “Relief to the children of Bethlehem” in support of the Baby Hospital in Bethlehem. “Recent news coming from Israel and Palestine may frighten us, says Riccardo Friede, member of the Association, but as men and women, young and adults, we bear a vision of the world where our more pressing choices are guided by solidarity, love and peace”. More than ever before, love and hope should override fear ; more than ever before Christians of the Holy Land need soldiarity of their brethren in Europe ; in short it is the prayer that come up from the Land of Jesus Christ in these days.

Manuella Affejee &

Source: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem