The week of prayer for Christian unity is approaching. Here in the Holy Land the diversity and unity of the different religious creeds is felt. He who writes, on Sunday 5 celebrated the Eucharist at 8.00 in the morning at the Basilica of Mount Carmel accompanied by the Melkite-Greek bishop of Galilee, who attended the Mass that I presided in Italian and in which , he communed under the two species, symbolizing the union under the same church, but with diverse rites, mine Roman, his Melkite-Greek. Unity in diversity.
On October 31, 1934, something similar happened in the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Mount Carmel. Wednesday, October 31. Haifa and the entire Galilee are celebrating the solemn reception of His Beatitude Monsignor Cyril IX Moghabghab (1855-1947), Melkite-Greek Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and the entire East. A great procession of cars has gone to look for him until St John of Acre and has taken him professionally until Haifa to the residence of Mons. Haggear (1875-1940), Archbishop of the Galilee with the title of St John of Acre. Numerous have been the official receptions made to His Holiness, both by the civil and religious authorities of Haifa. That day on October 31, 1934, Mount Carmel has had the honor and joy of receiving His Holiness, surrounded by high prelates of his Church: S. Excl. Mons. Haggear, S. Excl. Mons. Naoum (1882-1967), Metropolitan de Tiro, S. Excl. Bishop Nabba (1875-1940), Bishop of Sidon. Together, the bishops have concelebrated with their assistant priests at 7.30.
During the noon meal in community, N.P. Vicar made a toast, to which His Holiness responded by underlining the happy rapprochement between the Carmelites and the Byzantine Church, and their current relations full of sympathy. Our line of union is very dear, without contradicting, to the Holy See to which we are subject to the different churches, which carry the same faith but with only some differences in liturgy and hierarchical forms. His Holiness, who speaks Italian, and who knows French, English and other Oriental languages perfectly, gave us a great impression for his kindness, his simplicity and the deep tone that arose from his heart every time he spoke the word: The Holy Father.
Fr Óscar I. Aparicio Ahedo, ocd