This site features weekly updates of news from the Custody of the Holy Land and from the countries where the Custody operates. The news items are the result of personal contacts with Franciscan friars living in the Holy Land, and provide information upon a range of topics, ranging from the religious, to the cultural, to the socio-political aspects of the Holy Land, with particular emphasis upon the Franciscan presence and Christian message of peace and reconciliation. More news available on this page's sidebar (bottom right)...

Holy Sepulchre reopens

February 28th, 2018 @ 08:45 |

The famous Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem will reopen Wednesday while a “professional team” works on resolving a tax dispute with Israeli and municipal officials.

By: World Israel News Staff

28 February 2018

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat agreed to establish a professional team, led by Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi, to formulate a solution for the issue of municipal taxes on properties owned by churches that are not houses of worship, Netanyahu’s media adviser said in a statement Tuesday. More read more

Pope receives King Abdullah II of Jordan

December 26th, 2017 @ 09:33 |

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis on Tuesday received King Abdullah II of Jordan in an audience at the Vatican. More read more

Christmas Message from Jerusalem (2017)

December 26th, 2017 @ 09:29 |

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

23rd December 2017

“But the angel said to them [the shepherds], ‘Do not be afraid; for see- I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born…a saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord.’” (Luke 2.10) More read more

Plea for dialogue in Holy Land

December 26th, 2017 @ 09:24 |

Catholic World News

December 23, 2017

In an interview with an Italian newspaper, the Vatican’s Secretary of State called for “direct dialogue” between Israelis and Palestinians. More read more

Orthodox Patriarch visits Pope

October 24th, 2017 @ 09:25 |

Pope Francis on October 23, 2017, received Beatitude Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. More read more

Veil still mandatory

October 24th, 2017 @ 09:21 |


The jihadists have been expelled from Iraq, but the use of the veil at the University of Mosul is mandatory.

Mosul (Agenzia Fides) – The north-Iraqi city of Mosul is no longer under the control of the jihadist militias of the Islamic State since July. But at University, students still have to adapt, at least in part, to Islamic traditions and rules in the way of dressing. A great sign posted at the University entrance (see photo) reminds students of the type of clothing and hairstyle they need to observe to enter the university buildings and follow the lessons. The mandatory “dress code” prescribes the use of the veil to all students, Muslim or non-Muslim. More read more

800 years’ presence in the Holy Land

October 23rd, 2017 @ 09:45 |


“You are ambassadors of the entire People of God,” wrote to the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton, O.F.M., a letter on the occasion of the 8th centenary of the Franciscan presence in the Holy Land. More read more

Bethsaida said to be found

August 10th, 2017 @ 16:43 |

Archaeologists are saying that they just discovered the lost Roman city of Julias, known to Christian believers as the home of three of Jesus’ apostles: Peter, Andrew and Philip. More read more

Lebanese bishops urge help for Syrian refugees’ return

August 4th, 2017 @ 07:49 |

Catholic World News

August 03, 2017

The Maronite Catholic bishops have called for a “global plan” to help refugees from Syria return to their homes, saying that their continued presence in Lebanon is straining that country’s resources. More read more

Jubilee year of Portiuncula indulgence concludes

August 4th, 2017 @ 07:47 |

Catholic World News

August 03, 2017

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, traveled to the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels in Assisi on August 2 to celebrate the closing Mass of the 800th anniversary of the “pardon of Assisi,” also known as the Portiuncula indulgence. More read more