Franciscans House 2,300 Mideast Conflict Refugees

HNP Communications Features

JERUSALEM – The Franciscans in the Holy Land housed some 2,300 persons displaced by the recent Lebanese-Israeli conflict, saying that it is what St. Francis would have done, reported Zenit.

The friars opened the doors of their Casa Nova pilgrimage centers in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, welcoming displaced persons from Haifa, Nazareth, Acre, Safet and Metula, reported Artemio Vitores, OFM, vicar of the Custos of the Holy Land.

“During more than three weeks, from July 20 to Aug. 16, the Casa Nova of Bethlehem, with almost 1,500 displaced people by the war, carried the greatest weight in aiding the very many needy people,” the vicar added.

“It is what St. Francis wanted his friars to do,” said Artemio. “Pope John Paul II said it: The Franciscans ‘conscious of their first vocation, were very generous in their service to their brothers, supporting the poorest and weakest for love of him who so loved us.’ In this way, the then Pope continued, ‘they have professed their faith and hope.'”