lascito testamentario

A Legacy of Gifts: how Walter will forever stay in the Holy Land

Amy Rodriguez20 August 2021

Exercising Christian charity and benevolence sustaining our activities in the Holy Land with donations, means to link forever your name to Jerusalem and the places walked by Jesus.

From pilgrims and Emperors: many gifted part of their material possessions, funds and lands, to the Franciscan friars in order to preserve what is connected to the figure of Christ and lo leave their trace in the Land God loved the most.

It doesn’t matter what the entity of the gift is: everything counts when sustaining Jerusalem on earth and building the celestial one. This means to be in solidarity with the living stones of the Holy Land, the Christian communities of the Middle East and to cooperate with God’s kingdom.

You can support us with single donations, recurring ones, legacies and donations in memory of a loved one. To express your Faith helping the ones in need, locals and the Church is as easy as writing your signature, just like Walter did.


It’s April 2021 and spring it’s at its highest in Jerusalem Lockdown was lifted and, like flowers blossoming, life is slowly starting all over again: people are back in the streets of the Old City and some souvenir shops are open.

A big, heavy brown envelope is delivered to our office. The stamps on it tell us that it went through a long journey before arriving in the Holy Land as it was sent in August 2020, when the pandemic was still at its peak.

By opening it we finally understand that the sender had a promise to keep Last year Walter died from Covid and his most trusted friend wanted to fulfill one of his last wishes: to have something remembering him in the Holy Land forever.


We know Walter fairly well. Walter. He was an engineer and a man of Faith. He was also one of our most generous donors. In his will he also included our Association to keep on sustaining the friars, the holy places and the christian community.

Walter took his time to gather information on how to manage his possessions after his departure. He wanted his heirs, his close friends, the Church and the cases he believed in to be gifted something of value. That’s why he chose to make a will.


When somebody passes away, the succession process starts: it is the passage of ownership to the loved one’s legitimate heirs If that person has not made a will, it is the Law to appoint the heirs: spouses, children, siblings and relatives If there are no heirs nor written will, the State will acquire all of his/her properties.

To make a will means to decide how to manage the transmission of ones’ owings and gives you the chance to include in the beneficiaries people and entities that would not be included in the succession otherwise. Will types are mainly two: holographic and public.


The holographic will is a document that has to be written by hand by the testate. In order for it to be legal, it has to be complete of date (day, month, year of redaction) and signature. It has to be stored in a safe place or entrusted to a notary. . It has to be stored in a safe place or entrusted to a notary. .

Another one of the most common types ofwill is the public one, written with the counseling of a notary in front of two witnesses. oth of the testaments can be modified or cancelled any time.

Walter designated Pro Terra Sancta as beneficiary of one of his assets In order to do so, he had to clearly state his will and write down our legal address as well:

Associazione pro Terra Sancta

Via Matteo Boiardo, 16 – 00185 Roma


Donations to our Association can be in the form of money, investments and stocks, movable possessions (an art collection) or non movable ones (land properties, houses).

If there are no legitimate heirs, Pro Terra Sancta can become the sole heir or it can be a successor of life insurance premiums and severance pays.

As we are an ONG, a non profit, every heirloom we are appointed to is tax-freeand will be entirely allocated to our education and development projects, used for humanitarian emergencies and to provide for the living stones of the Holy Land: the christian community and the holy places.


Walter’s name is inscribed in the Book of the Benefactors that has been kept here in the friary of Saint Saviour for more than 800 years. As all the other Benefactors, he is eternally remembered every day by all the friars and included in the special masses held 4 times per month.

This is also valid for all the people that were gifted with a donation in memory Their names are included in the Book of Friends of Pro Terra Sancta and in the Book of Benefactors. All of them still live in every small tangible gesture of help and support we do thanks to their generosity.

The envelope that was mailed to us contains many old pictures of Walter’s family, his certificates, the most beloved sacred images and a small Bible he used to keep with him all the time. In his letter, the anonymous trusted friend asks us to burn everything and spread the ashes in Jerusalem so he can stay here forever. In his letter, the anonymous trusted friend asks us to burn everything and spread the ashes in Jerusalem so he can stay here forever.

We did not have the courage to do so: everything that was sent tous is now preserved in the Archive of the Custody of the Holy Land is now preserved in the Archive of the Custody of the Holy Land The envelope and its contents will stay there under the care of friars, They want to pray for those who chose to be good and incarnate the Christian Charity for those who will stay forever in the Holy Land!