JERUSALEM – On Sunday November 15th, a mass commemorating 125 years of the French Ecole Biblique et Archéologique was celebrated on the memory of victims of the attacks in Paris.
The feast day of St Albert the Great, a great Dominican figure, doctor of the Church and master of St Thomas of Aquina, the launching of the jubilee year of the 8th centenary of the Order of Preachers, and the 125th anniversary of the French Dominican-owned Ecole Biblique et Archéologique: so many reasons for the Church of Jerusalem to rejoice and give thanks.
However the tragic events which occurred in Paris last Friday cast a gloom over the joy of this celebration planned since a long time. The mass, presided by H.B. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, at St Stephen’s Basilica, was dedicated to the memory of the victims of these attacks and their families, in presence of Mr Hervé Magro, Consul General of France in Jerusalem, of some diplomats who came to show their solidarity and many French citizens.
However, in his homily the Patriarch, referring to the “sadness”, “fury” and “distress” which these bloody attacks had caused, called the audience on several “signs of consolation”, coming from “gestures of solidarity” at the international level, “shown by the unanimous condemnation of these barbarian acts by all governments, by the collaboration among all intelligence service and the strong will to fight … all forms of terrorism and more so to uproot its causes”.
Another source of consolation comes also from the unity of the French, “more solid than ever”, said Mgr Twal, stating the striking example of these Parisians rushing in thousands to emergency health centers, to donate their blood, without failing to mention all those who came to put flowers and candles on different places hit by the attacks. “In these days, said the Patriarch, the Church of the Holy Land implores the blessing of Almighty on France and its inhabitants”.
The mass, celebrated in a very calm atmosphere, was ended by a Requiem and final prayer for the dead, recited by the Patriarch.
Source: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem