20 February 2018

WYD Panama: 1.5 million rosaries "made in Bethlehem"

From Bethlehem to the WYD in Panama: 1.5 million rosaries will be produced in the Holy Land for the young people who will attend the World Youth Day, to encourage them to pray for peace.

Christians in the Holy Land

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1.5 million small wooden crosses, 81 million beads to be assembled on 750 km of elastic thread and 800 people involved. These are the numbers involved in the AVE JMJ project, promoted by Mons. Bürcher, Bishop Emeritus of Reykyakik - Iceland, which aims to donate a million and a half rosaries made of olive wood, made in Bethleem, to young people who will participate in the WYD in Panama, to encourage them to pray for peace.

H.E. Mons. PIERRE BÜRCHER
Bishop Emeritus - Reykjavik (Iceland)
"Why AVE JMJ? Because Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed the desire to pray for peace in the world. He is very concerned about this subject and he desires young people to pray for peace, starting from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.”

The Caritas of Jerusalem has organized this initiative which in the meantime is already bearing fruit: work for those in need, for refugees and for the unemployed in and around Bethlehem.

HAROUT BEDROSSIAN
Fund Raising and Reporting Caritas Jerusalem
"Some workshops are specialized in producing beads for the rosaries, others in making crosses and others will work with the laser.
At the present time, we have 11 workshops involved in the project, but more and more people are gathering and the small laboratories are expanding and hiring new employees.”

Ibrahim Khalil Farhan
CRAFTMAN - BETHLEHEM
"Working with olive wood is an important profession in Bethlehem that was on the verge of extinction.
However, with this new project which has involved all the laboratories in Beit Jala, Bethlehem and Beit Sahour, everyone has re-opened their factories.”

CARMEN ARABEH
Bethlehem
"So far, I have made 2220 rosaries in a week. Now we are making more rosaries.
We are very happy that our work reaches people and especially young people from all over the world who will be in Panama.”

The crosses engraved with the laser will have the writing “Bethleem” on one side,to remember its origin, while the other side will show: “JMJ 2019”. The "reduced" capacity of the square where the WYD will take place, which may contain " only "500 thousand people, gave Mons. Burcher a brilliant idea.

H.E. Mons. PIERRE BÜRCHER
Bishop Emeritus - Reykjavik (Iceland)
“We will give 3 rosaries wrapped in cellophane with the photo of the Pope to each young person who will attend WYD in Panama; each one will have a rosary for themselves, they can give the second rosary to someone in Panama who has not received it yet and [they can] bring home the third rosary, which can be donated to one of their peers in their country of origin. This way, the young person himself will become a "missionary" of the prayer of peace.”

The funds needed for this project amount to one and a half million dollars. The rosaries produced in the holy land will, in fact, have a cost of about a dollar each. The Swiss association Saint-Jean-Marie Vianney of Lausanne, which has taken this initiative to heart, is planning to find funding for this project around the world.