Custos of the Holy Land Arrives in Bethlehem Ushering in Christmas Celebrations amid COVID-19 Restrictions

Father Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land. (Photo: File)

The Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, arrived today in at Bethlehem’s Church of Nativity coming from Jerusalem ushering in the Christmas celebrations which kicks off tomorrow.

However, due to the coronavirus lockdown measures and health restrictions in Palestine, Patton was greeted by a handful of clerks, community leaders and journalists but with no public attendance in line with the Palestinian government’s decision on banning crowds.

Upon his arrival at Manger Square, he was greeted by Palestinian officials, including Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Rola Maayah, Governor of Bethlehem Kamel Hamid, Deputy Mayor of Bethlehem Hanna Hanania, Director General of Bethlehem Governor Police Brigadier General Tariq Al-Hajj, Bethlehem District Commander Brigadier General Nader Omar, and heads of churches.

After the welcoming ceremony, the Custos said he will pray for the good to come, the coronavirus pandemic to end, the world to live in security and safety, and for Bethlehem to be well.

Maayah said the Christmas celebrations this year are going to be without tourists and pilgrims in light of the coronavirus restrictions, but that despite this, Bethlehem will remain at the center of the world’s attention.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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