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Monday, January 19, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JAN 17, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was Pope John Paul's Message, dated January 6, 2004 to His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem on the occasion of the January 11 dedication of the Chapel of the "Domus Galilaeae" on the Mount of Beatitudes in Korazim, 135 kilometers north of Jerusalem.

The Pope recalled his apostolic pilgrimage to the Mount of the Beatitudes on March 24, 2000 when he visited and blessed the Shrine of the Word and the Domus Galilaeae, a center for formation, study and retreats for seminarians and priests from around the world built by the Neocatechumenal Way on land offered to them by the Custos of the Holy Land. At that time he celebrated Mass for nearly 100,000 faithful, including 45,000 young people from Middle Eastern countries and from abroad, many from the Neocatechumenal Way. The project, whose construction began in 1999 and is not yet finished, is situated above the Shrine of the Beatitudes, towards the top of the mount of the same name, and overlooks Lake Tiberias.

In his Message to the patriarch, the Holy Father wrote that "the chapel, to be solemnly dedicated, offers the possibility of contemplating the supreme mystery of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the fresco of the Last Judgement, which enriches its apse, invites us to turn our eyes to those last realities of the faith which illuminate our daily pilgrimage on earth."

"I join you," wrote the Pope to the prelates, clergy and religious present, as well to members of movements and in particular of the Neocatechumenal Way, "in this intense spiritual moment that this Christian community is preparing to live and I send an affectionate greeting. ... I hope this important event will be an encouragement for everyone to renew their own adherence to Christ, Redeemer of the world."

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