Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land - 26/03/2000 info: email@example.com
His Holiness Pope John Paul II arrived at the square in front of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre where he was welcomed by the Greek, Armenian and Latin authorities of the Basilica. The Latins were presented by the Minister General of the Order of the Friars Minor. Going inside the Church and passing by Golgotha His Holiness knelt down at the stone of Unction. Here as is customary and as is entrenched in the Status Quo whiche regulates the life in this Church, His Holiness was received by the Custos of the Holy Land . The Pope then blessed those present and listened attentively to the welcome spech delivered by Fr. Giovanni Battistelli, Custos of the Holy Land. In procession and singing the Te Deum His Holiness was led to the tomb of the Lord. Crouchin he entered the vestibule (outer room) of the tomb where a lighted candle rested on what remains of the the stone which was placed in front of the tomb to seal off the dead body of Jesus, a stone witness too of the power of the Resurrection. From this small room his holiness, crouching, entered inside the inner room, the room which had received the dead body of the Lord. Here he knelt down and in prayer and devotion kissed the marble slab which covers the tomb proper. A moment of extreme spirituality and strenght. His Holiness, like Peter, entered and found the empty tomb. This was the peak of all the pilgrimage of His Holiness in the footsteps of the History of Salvation. His holiness was helped out of the tomb and he went to the Franciscan sacristy where he put on the liturgical vestments to celebrate the Eucharist in fron of the tomb of the Lord.