After being in the Holy Land forty times; each time is a fresh experience, as if it was our first time! We learn something new each time whether it be a historical fact, an Archeological discovery, a new friend or learning about the people of the Holy Land. Recently, a friend of ours, Father Alex, a Franciscan priest who lived in Jerusalem gave us a book as an Advent gift. The book is about Mother Marie-Alphonsine, the foundress of the Holy Rosary Sisters – the largest Catholic Women’s religious Order in the Holy Land and the only native Palestinian one. She was just beatified a year ago in November in Nazareth by the Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal. She is buried in a building, owned by the Rosary Sisters in Jerusalem; the building is also used as a guesthouse for pilgrims. In fact, it is located next to the U.S. Consulate.
Although we knew about the Rosary Sisters, we hadn’t really known the story of their foundress, Mother Marie-Alphonsine.
For us – Father Alex’s gift to offer us the opportunity to learn about this role model for the local Palestinian Christian community – Mother Marie-Alphonsine during this Season of Advent. Advent is a time inviting us all to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ and to “prepare” the way of the Lord’s second coming!
How are you preparing for the celebration of Christmas? Have you considered taking up a “reading project” in these days of preparation? Why not read about a role-model that has inspired others. There are many! The Catholic Church lists thousands; some simple and some extraordinary.
Mother Marie-Alphonsine in speaking about the Love of Jesus: “In this love, one finds happiness, peace, and holy joy, patience, strength and perseverance.”