- Title: Custodian of the Holy Land launches Christmas season in Bethlehem
- Date: 26th November 2016
- Summary: VARIOUS OF MARCHING BAND PLAYING AT MANGER SQUARE CROWD WATCHING VARIOUS OF MARCHING BAND PLAYING AT MANGER SQUARE
- Embargoed: 11th December 2016 14:55
- Keywords: Custodian of the Holy Land Father Francesco Patton Christmas Bethlehem Palestinians Church of Nativity
- Location: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- City: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0025A2YQFB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Palestinians and pilgrims gathered on Manger Square on Saturday (November 26) to welcome the Custodian of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, and other senior priests on their arrival in Bethlehem, revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus.
Patton's arrival in the biblical town marks the beginning of the festive season of Advent, when millions of Christians around the world make their preparations for Christmas.
Colourful flags decorated Manger Square outside the Church of Nativity and a marching band played as high ranking religious clerics arrived in town.
Three Christian denominations - the Armenians, Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox - share control of the church in the West Bank town.
The Custodian of the Holy Land is the Pope's envoy to the Middle East.
He is the major superior of the friars in the Palestinian territories, as well as in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and Rhodes.
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