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Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa (OSV News/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

Good Friday’s Stations of the Cross walk to the Holy Sepulchre Church went off quietly and prayerfully, although missing pilgrims meant reduced numbers for all Easter ceremonies in Jerusalem. Source: The Tablet.

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, presided over celebrations at the church – the site of both the Crucifixion and the burial of Jesus – on the Friday and Saturday. Prayers were said for all the peoples of Israel and Palestine and for peace with justice and an end to war. A video message was sent by the Latin Patriarchate to Gaza saying, “You are not alone” and, “The day of resurrection will come and this prolonged struggle will cease.”

In his Easter Sunday homily from the Holy Sepulchre, the Cardinal said, “The Risen One is still here among us, and everywhere he goes before us”. Appreciation was voiced to Pope Francis for his support over the past five months.

In an Easter Letter addressed to Catholics of the Holy Land, Pope Francis expressed his spiritual closeness and affection, and encouraged Christians globally to offer solidarity through “prayer and practical charity”.

As Easter Day dawned in the Holy Land, Fr Gabriel Romanelli, parish priest of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Gaza, sent a message on the hope for peace from “the Calvary of Gaza”. He said: “With hearts full of the joy of the Resurrection, and even amidst tribulation, our Catholic community in Gaza wishes you a happy Easter and thanks you for so many prayers and support.”

In their Easter 2024 letter, the patriarchs and heads of the churches in Jerusalem offered a “hopeful Easter message … even in the midst of the present darkness”.

They sent special greetings “to those of the faithful in Gaza who have been bearing especially heavy crosses … including those taking refuge inside St Porphyrios and Holy Family Churches, as well as the courageous staff and volunteers of the Anglican-run Ahli Hospital, along with the patients they serve”. They said, “We repeat our denunciation of all violent actions in the present devastating war, especially those directed against innocent civilians, and we reiterate our call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire.”


Easter celebrations scaled down in Holy Land but hope survives (By Ellen Teague, The Tablet)


Holy Land leaders tell Gazans on Easter, ‘don’t lose hope’ (Crux)

Probe underway into deadly Israeli attack on foreign aid workers (Vatican News)

‘Completely unacceptable’: Anthony Albanese hauls in Israel envoy over aid worker Zomi Frankcom death (The Australian)