Sunday, 3 May 2009

1st of May in Bethlehem

In the church of St Catherine in Bethlehem a new icon depicting St Joseph was dedicated on 1st May, the memoria of St Joseph the worker.
The icon was placed on the north wall of the church built next to the Basilica of the Nativity.
The icon was written by Fr Nathanael Theuma OFM and blessed during Vespers by Fr Artemio Vitores OFM the assistant of the Custos of the Holy Land.
In this icon St Joseph is shown wearing the garments proper to the House of David to which he belonged. In one hand he is holding the Torah and on the other Jesus, the living Word of God. This also shows that St Joseph was the first to instruct the Child Jesus in Sacred Scriptures.
In the church of St Catherine, there is an altar dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary but there was no memorial to St Joseph at all. This has now been made right and it will be a fitting focus for the Latin community that every Wednesday assembles to sing an antiphon in honour of St Joseph after Vespers.
Here are some pictures of the blessing of the new icon.

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