Catholic bishops to consecrate Middle East to the Holy Family

Catholic bishops to consecrate Middle East to the Holy Family Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa. Photo: CNS

Catholic bishops will consecrate the Middle East to the Holy Family on June 27.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem announced details of the act of consecration, which will take place in the Year of St Joseph, in a June 11 letter to his brother bishops.

Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa indicated that it would take place during Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth “with the participation of all the Ordinaries of the Holy Land”.

“We will bless a specially 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 rests above the altar of St Joseph Church, in Nazareth, where, according to tradition, the Carpenter’s house was,” he wrote.

“Once blessed, the icon will go on a pilgrimage, starting from Lebanon, to the countries of the East, until its arrival to Rome towards 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 the letter, Patriarch Pizzaballa also said that Catholic bishops throughout the Middle East would celebrate an annual Mass for peace starting June 27.