Custos of the Holy Land gives advice for faithful to overcome temptation

Among Fray Francesco Patton’s advice is to feed on God’s word and trust in Him.

Photo: Divulgation/Custodia Terrae Sanctae.

Newsroom – Israel – Jerusalem (March 14, 2023, 2:45 PM, Gaudium Press) Jerusalem celebrated the first Saturday of Lent with the traditional solemn entrance of the Latin Patriarch into the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Bishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, accompanied by two rows of Franciscan Friars.

The entrance to the site was carried out through a sung procession, starting from the Chapel of the Appearance of the Risen One following the traditional route that, since 1336, the Franciscans have performed daily inside the Basilica.

Recitation of the Office of Readings and celebration of the Vigil Mass

During the night between Saturday and Sunday, the Franciscan religious gathered at the Holy Sepulchre to recite the solemn Office of Readings and to participate in the celebration of the Vigil Mass presided by the Custos of the Holy Land, Friar Francesco Patton. This tradition has been repeated on Sundays of Lent since the year 1754.

The Eucharistic celebration took place in the Chapel of the Crucifixion, at Calvary. In his homily, Friar Patton assured that “the best way to overcome temptation is, on the one hand, to feed on God’s word and, on the other hand, to trust Him instead of challenging Him by forcing Him to perform miracles.

God must be at the center of our thoughts

Commenting on the Gospel of the day, which related the episode of Jesus’ temptations in the desert, the Custos of the Holy Land stressed that “in order to overcome temptation, God is the one who must be worshipped, who must be at the center of our thoughts, our affections, and our person, because the moment we stop worshipping him we will become slaves to other realities.”

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Finally, Father Patton pointed out that “Lent confronts us with a reality of fragility, but it also gives us the tools to avoid being victims, submissive and slaves to it. And he concluded by exhorting the faithful to walk “with confidence during these forty days toward Easter, toward that day when we will remember the gift of the new life we received in our Baptism.” (EPC)

Compiled by Zephania Gangl

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