Holy Land Festival

Saturday, July 16, 2016
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Free Parking & Admission


Experience the culture and life of Christians in the Holy Land, with exhibits, vendors, Mediterranean food for sale, speakers, demonstrations, and tours of the Franciscan Monastery’s Holy Land shrines and gardens.


Every day our news media reports on the Middle East. If you cannot visit the region in person, there’s no better way to experience the Holy Land in all its complexity and richness than to attend the annual Holy Land Festival.


The festival will feature authentic Middle Eastern food, arts, crafts and music throughout the day. Gifts available for sale will benefit Palestinian Christians. These will include olive-wood carvings from the Holy Land. In our new conference center, special presentations and panel discussions held throughout the day will offer an opportunity to learn about the people, issues and current situation in the Holy Land and elsewhere in the Middle East.


Free tours of the Monastery church and gardens will be available, as well. Come early and stay for the Vigil Mass at 5 p.m. The Holy Land Festival is a project of the Archdiocesan Holy Land Committee, a coalition of groups that includes the Archdiocese of Washington, Franciscan Monastery and several other organizations that support the “Living Stones” of the Holy Land in a variety of ways.

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Schedule of Events

12:oo p.m. “Testimonies of Palestinian Christians: Live from Bethlehem.” Fr. Michael McDonagh, International Advisor to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, moderates a live discussion. 

1 p.m. “Every People under Heaven:” The Many Voices of Medieval Jerusalem from 1000-1400, Jerusalem was home to more cultures, faiths, and languages than ever before. Dr. Barbara Boehm and Dr. Melanie Holcomb, the co-curators of the international exhibition Jerusalem, 1000-1400: Eve,y People Under Heaven, opening this fall at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, will discuss how myriad religious traditions – sometimes competitively and other times complementary – contributed to the artistic and spiritual richness of the medieval city.

2 p.m.  “Modern Day Saints of Palestine: Women of Bethlehem” how the culture and environment of Royal David’s City of Bethlehem have given rise to.modern day saints including the recently canonized Maryam Bouardi. Like the humble Maryann, they lead quiet lives of simple service .performed with great love. Attention will also- be given to Our Lady of Palestine, St. Helen, traditions of the Grotto of the Nafrvity and the Milk Grotto, women religious working in Bethlehen and other unsung heroines of the town.

3 p.m. “Holy Land Principles.” Fr. Sean McManus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus and Holy Land Principles Inc., will give a power-point presentation on the Holy Land Principles- a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Israel/Palestine. The Holy Land Principles are based on the very effective Mac Bride Principles for Northern Ireland- and very aptly so, since it was England that partitioned both Palestine (Balfour Declaration 1917) and Ireland (Government of Ireland Act, 1920). Until Fr. McManus launched the Holy Land Principles in 2013, the 545 American companies in Palestine/Israel had, extraordinarily, never been challenged on their fair employment.


NOTE: All programs are 50 minutes in length and will be held in the air-conditioned conference room. They will also be live-streamed at www.myfranciscan.org

If you cannot attend the event, you can view it via live stream!

If you need more information, call 202-526-6800 or 301-853-5340.

Franciscan Monastery
1400 Quincy St. NE
Washington, DC 20017
*In case of inclement weather, the festival will be held in St. Francis Hall.

Co-sponsored by the Franciscan Monastery and the Archdiocese of Washington Holy Land Committee.