His Beatitude Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa, president of the Assembly ACOHL, addressed a message on Friday dated June 11 to bishops, priests, nuns, and the faithful announcing that the Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of the Middle East, have launched the “Peace Day for the East” on Sunday, June 27, 2021:
Following is the text of the address:
Your Excellencies, dear brothers in the Episcopate,
Dear religious and consecrated persons,
Dear faithful Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
May the Lord give you His Peace!
In the occasion of celebrating the 130th jubilee of “Rerum Novarum” theencyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on 15 May 1891 concerning “Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor”, the Episcopal Committee “Justice and Peace” which emanates from the Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of the Middle East, has launched the annual Mass initiative which will be celebrated during the “Peace Day for the East” (Journee de la paix pour l’ Orient) for this year on Sunday, June 27, 2021, at 10:00am.
It has been decided that a Mass should be celebrated in each one of the countries belonging to the Council of the Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in the Middle East, and thus all the patriarchs and bishops are invited to participate in this intense prayer, and to be in profound Communion of prayer together during this blessed day.
In the occasion of the Year of Saint Joseph, we will also proceed in the consecration of our beloved Middle East to the Holy Family, and for this reason, a special gesture will be included in the Mass which will be celebrated in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth on Sunday, June 27, 2021, at 10:00am, with the participation of the Ordinaries of the Holy Land. We will bless a special painted Icon of the Holy Family inlaid with relics from the same Basilica of the Annunciation. The icon represents the painting of the Holy Family of Nazareth, which reposes above the altar of St. Joseph Church, in Nazareth, where, according to tradition, the Carpenter’s house was.
Once blessed, the Icon will go in a pilgrimage, starting from Lebanon, to the countries of the East, until its arrival to Rome toward the end of the year of St. Joseph, on December 8, 2021. From Rome, the Icon will travel back to the Holy Land where it will remain.
In Rome as well, the Holy Father Pope Francis will give his special Apostolic Blessing for the “Peace Day for the East”.
You are all invited thus to participate through your presence, and if not possible, though your communion with us in prayer, each one from his home Parish on convent, to implore the Mercy of God and His Peace on this beloved Middle east, where the Christian faith is born and still alive, despite the sufferings.
Yours in Christ
+ Pierbattista Pizzaballa
President of the Assembly ACOHL
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem