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Association pro Terra Sancta

 

 

The Association pro Terra Sancta is the nonprofit, nongovernmental organization (NGO) of the Custody of the Holy Land with offices in Jerusalem, Rome and Milan. The President of ATS Pro Terra Sancta is the Custos of the Holy Land.

The Custody of the Holy Land is the name by which today are known the Franciscans of the Order of Friars Minor (founded by St. Francis in 1209) who have been present in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean since the earliest days of the Order, and who watch over the Holy Places in the name of all Christianity. 

 

 

Custody of the Holy Land: the story

  

The Custody of the Holy Land is the name by which today are known the Franciscans of the Order of Friars Minor (founded by St. Francis in 1209) who have been present in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean since the earliest days of the Order, and who watch over the Holy Places in the name of all Christianity.

The General Chapter of 1217, which divided the Order into Provinces, led to the creation of the Province of the Holy Land.

It includes all the regions of the southeast basin of the Mediterranean, including “the homeland of Christ and the places where the mystery of our redemption took place.” 

 

ATS pro Terra Sancta was created by the Custody of the Holy Land. The association’s fundamental values have their roots in the history and activities of the Custody itself.

ATS Pro Terra Sancta provides technical support to the Franciscans in the Holy Land in their principal sectors of activity, through specific projects carried out in collaboration with public and private institutional supporters, and through promotion, fundraising, reporting and evaluation activities.

ATS Pro Terra Sancta promotes and coordinates activities within the framework of development cooperation and international solidarity in all of the areas in the Middle East in which the Custody of the Holy Land is present: Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus and Rhodes.

The association is recognized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an appropriate organization for carrying out development cooperation programs. 

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St. Francis lived in the Holy Land between 1219 and 1220. This was the time during which he had his famous meeting with Sultan Melek el-Kamel. During a time of war and at the height of the Crusades, Francis of Assisi leapt over trenches to enter into dialogue with the person who was generally viewed as the enemy of the Western world par excellence.

 

Although he did not convert, the Sultan was impressed and let Francis continue on his way to the Holy Land.

 

In 1342, Pope Clement VI approved the decision of the royal family of Naples with a bill, thereby officially establishing the Custody of the Holy Land.

 

In 1992, Pope John Paul II wrote a personal letter to the minister general of the Order of Friars Minor, emphasizing the transfer of the custody of the Holy Places to the Order and exhorting them to continue carrying out the task entrusted to them by the Holy See.

On the occasion of the millennial celebration in 2000, Pope John Paul II once again reminded the world that the Friars Minor were custodians of the Holy Places by the will of the Universal Church.

 

Association pro Terra Sancta

 

The Association pro Terra Sancta is the nonprofit, nongovernmental organization (NGO) of the Custody of the Holy Land with offices in Jerusalem, Rome and Milan. The President of ATS Pro Terra Sancta is the Custos of the Holy Land.

The Custody of the Holy Land is the name by which today are known the Franciscans of the Order of Friars Minor (founded by St. Francis in 1209) who have been present in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean since the earliest days of the Order, and who watch over the Holy Places in the name of all Christianity. 

 

 

ATS pro Terra Sancta was created by the Custody of the Holy Land. The association’s fundamental values have their roots in the history and activities of the Custody itself.

ATS Pro Terra Sancta provides technical support to the Franciscans in the Holy Land in their principal sectors of activity, through specific projects carried out in collaboration with public and private institutional supporters, and through promotion, fundraising, reporting and evaluation activities.

ATS Pro Terra Sancta promotes and coordinates activities within the framework of development cooperation and international solidarity in all of the areas in the Middle East in which the Custody of the Holy Land is present: Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus and Rhodes.

The association is recognized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an appropriate organization for carrying out development cooperation programs.

 

Custody of the Holy Land: the story

The Custody of the Holy Land is the name by which today are known the Franciscans of the Order of Friars Minor (founded by St. Francis in 1209) who have been present in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean since the earliest days of the Order, and who watch over the Holy Places in the name of all Christianity. The General Chapter of 1217, which divided the Order into Provinces, led to the creation of the Province of the Holy Land. It includes all the regions of the southeast basin of the Mediterranean, including “the homeland of Christ and the places where the mystery of our redemption took place.”

 

St. Francis lived in the Holy Land between 1219 and 1220. This was the time during which he had his famous meeting with Sultan Melek el-Kamel. During a time of war and at the height of the Crusades, Francis of Assisi leapt over trenches to enter into dialogue with the person who was generally viewed as the enemy of the Western world par excellence. Although he did not convert, the Sultan was impressed and let Francis continue on his way to the Holy Land.

In 1342, Pope Clement VI approved the decision of the royal family of Naples with a bill, thereby officially establishing the Custody of the Holy Land.

In 1992, Pope John Paul II wrote a personal letter to the minister general of the Order of Friars Minor, emphasizing the transfer of the custody of the Holy Places to the Order and exhorting them to continue carrying out the task entrusted to them by the Holy See.

On the occasion of the millennial celebration in 2000, Pope John Paul II once again reminded the world that the Friars Minor were custodians of the Holy Places by the will of the Universal Church.

 


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“This land is loved and desired by so many. All of us are called on to take care of it, protect it and feel that is our own. It is at the origin of our culture, our history and our religion.”.

Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa
Custos of the Holy Land.