Crowded Cross Stations shake Jerusalem, which has been quashed by the epidemic
The streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, which has remained almost deserted since the beginning of the epidemic and witnessed a new, atypical New Friday, although it was very crowded today, are full of crucifixion stations without pilgrims but are very crowded today.
Several hundred people gathered in the castle, most of them local Palestinian believers, religious from the Catholic communities in the Holy Land and international residents in the area.
Together they walked in the footsteps of Jesus’ calf, from the Flagellation Church, which indicates where Christ was condemned, to the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, where traditions indicate that he was crucified, died, and was buried.
The procession was led by a group of Franciscans, followed by hundreds of believers who stopped at each of the fourteen stops on the Via Dolorosa, where they were praying in Italian, English and Spanish.
Also behind them came a large group of Palestinian believers who prayed in Arabic and were the ones who carried the two large wooden crosses.
Dozens of Israeli border police officers accompanied them during the entire tour, who facilitated their passage through multiple walls in the alleys of the Old City, east of Jerusalem, which is under Israeli occupation and annexation.
Behind these walls gathered the Muslim residents of the castle and dozens of Israeli tourists who took advantage of the Easter holiday to visit the holy city and the ceremony, and joined local Palestinian merchants, unaccustomed to the crowds after a year. As few people suffered from the absence of tourists.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Israel has vetoed the entry of tourists to avoid infection, which once again deprived Jerusalem of the thousands of pilgrims who arrive year after year for these appointments.
Despite this, the rapid Israeli vaccination campaign, which has already reached more than 50% of the population and allowed for almost the entire economy to reopen, explains the large influx today, which contrasts with this year’s gray celebration. The past, when only four Franciscans took the tour.
Angela, a Colombian who lives in Tel Aviv, told Eevee: “I am very grateful to God for the opportunity to be here today in Jerusalem, and live another year of the Passion of Christ.”
“It is important because after this terrible epidemic that the world lives, and we can live a more spiritual moment, and approach it, and through this passion, I ask him to enlighten us and help us out of the world. An epidemic.”
Many Palestinian Christians from the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip were unable to attend this time, after the decrease in the number of permits granted by Israel due to the epidemic, which in recent weeks recorded a rise in both areas.
Unlike in previous years, when hundreds of Gaza residents and a few tens of thousands of West Bank residents flocked to the holy city to celebrate Easter, there were no Christians this time from the coastal strip and only 5,000 Palestinians joined. From the other side of the wall for community celebrations.
“It is true that this holy week is special, because there are no pilgrims, because there is nothing, but the local Christians, who have continued during the time of Jesus in this Holy Land, are the ones who support our faith,” told Father Effie Manolo Lama, 60, of Seville, Of the residents of the city of Beit Sahour in the West Bank.
Mass will continue tonight in Jerusalem, including the funeral ceremonies of Jesus in the Basilica of the Resurrection, prior to the celebrations of Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.