Pope Notes Dedication of Chapel on Mount of Beatitudes

Message Recalls His Jubilee Pilgrimage to Holy Land

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 19, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The dedication rite of a chapel on the Mount of the Beatitudes gave John Paul II the chance to recall his 2000 pilgrimage to the Holy Land.



On Jan. 11, the chapel of the Domus Galilaeae International Center was dedicated in Tiberias, Israel. It was the occasion for the Pope to recall "with emotion" his Jubilee trip to this place, "not far from where Jesus performed the first multiplication of loaves."

The Holy Father states this in his message, published Saturday by the Vatican press office, to Latin-rite Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem, who presided at the solemn dedication of the chapel on the feast of the Baptism of Jesus.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio in Israel, joined Father Giovanni Battistelli, Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land, and bishops and superiors of religious communities, as well as professors and representatives of ecclesial movements at the event.

They all attended the dedication together with the founders of the Neocatechumenal Way -- Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernández and Father Mario Pezzi -- which is the promoter of Domus Galilaeae.

The dedication took place in the context of a meeting of 250 "itinerants" of the Neocatechumenal Way. The Holy Father greeted them all, wishing that "this important event" will encourage them "to renew their own adherence to Christ, redeemer of the world."

"May the Virgin of Nazareth, Mother of the Church and Star of the New Evangelization, guide the way of believers in the Holy Land and obtain for them the gift of ever more courageous fidelity to the Gospel," he said.

Domus Galilaeae is a center of formation, primarily for priests and seminarians; of study; and of hospitality for pilgrims. See www.domusgalilaeae.org.