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DEIR RAFAT, Israel (LifeSiteNews) — The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem reconsecrated the Holy Land to Our Lady, Queen of Palestine, on her feast day this Sunday, amid the recently kindled war between Israel and Hamas.

On Sunday, October 29, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa offered Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of Palestine and of the Holy Land for spiritual recourse during the conflict.

“Today, we consecrate once again our Church, our diocese, our land to Our Lady, Queen of Palestine,” Pizzaballa said in his homily, Catholic News Agency reported. “We have done this several times in moments of need for our community, and this is one of the most difficult in our recent history. It is an act of entrustment and therefore of trust. In this moment when everything seems to be overwhelming us, we need to entrust and deliver to God and the Virgin Mary all that we hold in our hearts.”

“As we consecrate again our beloved diocese and land to [Our Lady’s] care, we also entrust ourselves to God. Meaning to not worry and have full confidence and trust in His divine care and wisdom, especially in the current times we are living in, where hope seems hard to find,” said Pizzaballa. 

The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem stressed the importance of reading Scripture in these times, particularly the Gospels.

“Through one word, the Incarnate Word, who is Life, came to be in the womb of Our Mother, the Virgin Mary, who [said]: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,’” said Pizzaballa. 

“This Word gave her life, so she could also give life to us. The common word we hear today in our world is of ‘control and pride,’ meanwhile, the Holy Passage indicates that The Word is a word for the ‘Humble and Meek,’ which is mentioned in this passage – “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land” (Mt. 5:5).  

Pizzaballa concluded by asking for the intercession of Our Lady: “May Our Mother, the Virgin Mary, comfort us and accompany us and help us submit to the Word of God, so that the seed of humility and trust grows in us.”

After Mass, Mgr. William Shomali, general vicar, recited the Act of Consecration of the Holy Land to the Immaculate Heart of Mary “for the peace and protection of her beloved homeland,” before the faithful processed around the shrine with the statue of Our Lady.

Attendance at Mass was scarcer than usual due to the nearby conflict. Ordinarily, thousands of faithful attend the Church from communities “scattered throughout Israel and the Palestinian territories,” according to CNA.

The Latin parish priest of Gaza, Father Gabriel Romanelli, attended Sunday’s Mass. In an interview with CNA, he spoke of his sorrow that he still cannot reunite with his people.

“Why did the Lord want and allow me to be away since the beginning of this war? Perhaps because from the outside, I can respond differently to many people … but for me, it is a great pain. The greatest pain is not being close to those who are suffering,” he told CNA.

He became tearful as he described the wreckage in Gaza, telling about how almost all of Gaza’s Christians, totaling about 700, have taken shelter in the Latin parish and its adjacent school, “but everything around is destroyed,” he said.

The death toll in the Gaza Strip since the outbreak of war has allegedly surpassed 8,000, according to reports, while about 20,000 have been injured. Romanelli shared that after the recent bombings, “many people are under the rubble,” and “for hundreds, it’s not even possible to recognize the bodies.”

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