ZABABDEH – On January 6, 2022, for the Epiphany, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, went to Zababdeh to celebrate Mass and meet with the local parish priest.
It actually used to be a tradition… now a little forgotten. Perhaps some parishioners remember: in the past, the Latin Patriarch regularly celebrated the Epiphany in Zababdeh. This small village of Christian origin (75% Christians in 2021), lost in the north of the West Bank, may yet not seem to look like much. Since 1883, however, it has been home to one of the Latin Patriarchate schools, an important source of employment for the inhabitants, which organizes many activities for the youth (such as scout groups). There are also several churches, including Our Lady of the Visitation. The village, quite rural, is surrounded by agricultural crops and embellished by distant rocky mountains.
During the Mass of the Epiphany, the Patriarch reminded the assembly of the importance of listening to the word of God, of always being open and attentive to his message. The Scouts, who had welcomed him with great pomp at the entrance of the church, then renewed their promise in front of the altar. At the end of the celebration, their band, already seen in Bethlehem during the Christmas parade, was able to shine again before the whole assembly. A time of sharing and thanksgiving followed before the Patriarch left Zababdeh.
By: Cécile Leca/ lpj.org