Holy Land: p. Patton (Custodian), "whoever stands before us is a brother, who remains a brother even when he professes another religion"


"The enemy is never in front of us, but inside us! The person in front of us is a brother, who remains a brother even when he professes another religion; that remains a brother even if an opponent, brigand or wolf; he remains a brother or sister even when Francis meets the various creatures, animate and inanimate ". This was said by the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, during the conference of the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. entitled "The Sultan and the Saint: the spiritual journey of the meeting of change" which took place on November 7 in the US capital. According to the website of the Custody, Father Patton, recalling the 800 years of Franciscan presence in the Holy Land, said that this anniversary “helps us to recover the merits and the foresight from a different and alternative perspective, which is that of the meeting among people of different civilizations and faiths ". For the friars of the Holy Land, "dialogue is not so much theoretical, but is linked to everyday life, to the places and concrete situations in which we live". Father Patton offered examples of the work of the Custody, identifying his "strong commitment to education through the 15 Franciscan schools of the Holy Land that educate about 10,000 students". The schools, he said, "are undoubtedly the place where the greatest opportunities for dialogue arise", noting that "they are recognized as models of coexistence and interreligious dialogue and contribute to creating and promoting a climate of peaceful coexistence among the majority Muslim and the Christian minority present in most of the cities and countries in which we live and work ”. In our schools "we see the dialogue of everyday life. Mutual knowledge is part of this dialogue ”.

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