Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 69

We are starting to wind things down here and prepare to leave. We’ve got three final days of class, with finals and papers coming due. We had class all morning today and then in the afternoon we went to visit the Armenian Orthodox patriarchate. The Archbishop spoke with us for an hour about the Armenian Orthodox church. I really didn’t even know who the Armenians were before I came here and now I am happy to have been exposed to the many different “flavors” of Christianity present here in the Holy Land. After our talk with the Archbishop we attended Evening Prayer with the seminarians at St. James Cathedral. In this beautiful church St. James, the brother of the Lord, is buried. He was the bishop of Jerusalem which you can read about in the Acts of the Apostles. Also buried in this cathedral is the head of St. James the Apostle. You can read in the Acts of the Apostles that St. James was beheaded here in Jerusalem. Legend has it that the rest of his body was thrown into the sea and wound up in Spain. Compostella is the famous place of pilgrimage where he is buried in Spain, but his head is buried here in Jerusalem. I was especially mindful of my former Archbishop in this church as he is named James. He was the bishop that first accepted me as a seminarian and who continues to be a wonderful blessing to our diocese as Archbishop Emeritus. I said a special prayer for him in this church so holy to St. James.

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