Holy Land Custos Lends a Hand to Santa

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BETHLEHEM, DEC. 23, 2008 (Zenit.org).- According to the Custos of the Holy Land, it is close enough to Christmas to bring gifts to underprivileged boys.

Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa visited Sunday one of the charitable works of the custody, the Boys Home, which gives shelter to boys from needy families.

The home was founded two years ago and has already reached the limit of children and youth it can accept. The boys range in age from six to 18 years.

For Father Pizzaballa’s visit, the 30 of them were in attendance, accompanied by a member of their families.

During the homily of the Mass he celebrated, the Franciscan asked the boys where King David was from. Their hesitation eventually melted away to excited answers of Bethlehem, their own hometown.

The priest went on to speak of the liturgical texts of the day and David’s desire to build a house for the Lord, who eventually chose his own «house» thanks to Mary’s «yes.»

The Franciscan assured the boys that with their own «yes» to the Lord, Jesus continues to be born in the world.

After Mass, Santa Claus arrived with an abundance of toys, which Father Pizzaballa helped to distribute.

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