The Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land take us to the Dominus Flevit shrine on the Mount of Olives.
This Lent the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land invite us on a pilgrimage to the holy places that they have protected and maintained for on behalf of the Catholic Church since the 14th century.
The Dominus Flevit Shrine
In this first video in the series “Pilgrimages to the Origin of the Shrines of the Holy Land,” we stop at the Dominus Flevit shrine, on the Mount of Olives. It was here that Jesus, as described in the Gospel of Luke, wept as he looked at the city of Jerusalem.
As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:41-44
As the friar points out in the video, the Dominus Flevit is the first destination of a centuries-old pilgrimage to the shrines linked to Jesus’ Passion.
Br. Artemio Vítore González describes the place, which is under the custodianship of the Franciscan friars, much as it would have appeared to Jesus, who stopped there on his way to his annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
“Dominus Flevit is one of the most beautiful places from which to contemplate the Holy City. In the morning the sun illuminates the ancient walls, at sunset the stones of the city are tinged with gold,” he says.
The shrine sits atop an ancient necropolis from Roman and Byzantine times. Archaeological excavations in the 1950 discovered tombs with Christian symbols dating back to the first Judeo-Christian community of Israel.
The meaning of Jesus’ tears
Pilgrims visiting theDominus Flevit shrine are encouraged to weep, as Jesus did, as crying is an opportunity for entering into communion with others.
On the annual Lenten pilgrimage, crying has another, deeper, spiritual purpose.
“Weeping is also a way of entering into this deeper communication with God, it is the revelation of God’s heart. It does this through the person of Jesus, his words, his deeds, his tears, because in the end he wants to reveal his heart on the cross. Jesus’ weeping in this place is a step toward this greater revelation of God’s love,” said Dominican Fr. Łukasz Popko, the preacher of the Lenten Pilgrimage.
To participate in this virtual pilgrimage to the Dominus Flevit shrine, watch the video above.