JERUSALEM – After the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to pilgrimage to the Holy Land for a year and a half, the first groups of pilgrims are once again starting to return to the land of Christ. On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa received, at the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, a group of 23 American pilgrims and a priest originating from Latin America – mostly from Mexico.
This is the second group of pilgrims that visit the Latin Patriarch since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in March 2020. Earlier this month on July 6, Patriarch Pizzaballa welcomed Cardinal Enrico Feroci, alongside Italian priests and journalists, who came on pilgrimage from July 5-9.
The group of American pilgrims, who started their long pilgrimage first in Europe, conveyed to Patriarch Pizzaballa that they wanted to grow in faith during their visit to the Holy Land. They also expressed their solidarity with the local Christians – thus hiring a local Christian guide – and their readiness to provide them with support in the future.
Patriarch Pizzaballa thanked the group for their valued presence and accentuated the importance of their pilgrimage, in a time when the people of the Holy Land still live with the implications of COVID-19 and a recent war. He also encouraged them, upon their return home, to talk about the experience of visiting the holy places to their friends.
Source: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem