This past Christmas the exhibition The spirit of Assisi brings us to Bethlehem was held in the cathedral of Savona. Bishop of Savona Mons. Vittorio Lupi, parish priest Don Gianni Busoni and the president of the Muslim Community of Liguria, Zahoor Zargar, welcomed children from local schools.
The exhibition was organised by pupils to tell the story of their friendship with children in Bethlehem, born of the inter-religious dialogue project that eight schools in Savona have been taking part in for several years. “After our visit to Assisi, thanks to the advice and intercession of Franciscan friars, the idea grew of maintaining contact with Bethlehem,” says Francesca, the teacher who promotes the event. “Next summer we are going to Palestine and the message received from Bethlehem in recent days has made us even happier and more desirous to travel there.”
Pupils from the Terra Sancta Girls School in Bethlehem, that ATS pro Terra Sancta continues to support, wrote a letter to their Savona counterparts that was put on display in the Chapel of the Nativity of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption. The following is an excerpt: “Italy is a very beautiful country and we would be delighted to be able to visit it one day. Palestine is also a very beautiful country, but sometimes some people get hurt because of the war. Please pray that our country too will know peace and freedom!” During the inauguration, children and members of the community prayed in Arabic, Romanian, Albanian, Spanish and Italian for peace in the Holy Land and the rest of the world.
Mons. Vittorio Lupi wrote a statement to the children taking part in the exhibition, confirming that “this multi-voice commitment is a precious sign of hope for a future made of harmony and mutual respect between different cultures and religions”.
In the gallery below, photographs of the children putting up their own works and a copy of the message from Bethlehem.