Mass in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia to open the Holy Door Mass in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia to open the Holy Door 

Bahrain: Holy Door opened for Jubilee of Arabian Martyrs

The Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia, Bishop Aldo Berardi, celebrates Mass in Awali, Bahrain, and opened the Holy Door for the Jubilee celebrating the 1,500th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Arethas and companions.

By Vatican News

As the Church in the Arabian Peninsula begins its Holy Year for the 1,500th anniversary of the Martyrs of Arabia (523-2023), one of two Holy Doors was opened during Mass in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia in Awali, Bahrain.

Bishop Aldo Berardi, the Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia, presided over the ritual to open the Holy Door and celebrated the Mass.

Archbishop Eugene Martin Nugent, the Apostolic Nuncio to Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar, delivered the homily.

He conveyed Pope Francis’ greetings and his prayerful support for Catholics on the Arabian Peninsula.

Jubilee ‘a time of spiritual renewal’

In his homily, Archbishop Nugent expressed his hope that the Jubilee would be a time of grace and spiritual renewal for the Catholic community.

He acknowledged the challenges of being Christians in the present era, noting that many Christians are persecuted in various parts of the world.

Following the example of St. Arethas, who was killed alongside 4,000 other faithful during an anti-Christian persecution in Najran in 523 AD, during pre-Islamic times in Arabia, the Apostolic Nuncio encouraged Christians to bear witness daily to the Gospel of love proclaimed by Christ.

Apostolic Vicariate's video about life of St. Arethas and Companions

Inspiration drawn from the past

Speaking at the Mass, Bishop Berardi invited Catholics across the region to follow the example of faith, courage, and perseverance of the martyrs who gave their lives for the love of Christ.

“The martyrs maintained the Christian faith despite ridicule, persecution, and threats,” he said. “They stood firm in their faith. Looking to the past inspires us. Life in the past was no easier than it is today.”

Bishop Berardi called the faith handed down through the ages as “a beacon in the storm and a light in the darkness.”

Faith, he added, “is the way of life and light for those who look to Christ and follow Him.”

He reminded the Catholics of the Arabian Peninsula that their words and deeds, as well as their weaknesses and strengths, bear witness to Christ in the same love that animated the martyrs of 1,500 years ago.

“It is up to us to rise and testify to Christ with an honest and consistent life, a life given for love and oriented towards the Good and the Beautiful, towards fraternal love, and commitment to peace, justice, and tolerance,” he said.

Two Holy Doors for two Apostolic Vicariates

The faithful of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia will celebrate the opening of their own Holy Door on 9 November at 6:00 PM local time.

Bishop Paolo Martinelli, the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, will preside over Mass for and open the Holy Door at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

Pope Francis visited the Cathedral during his Apostolic Journey to the UAE in February 2019.

The Pope has granted a plenary indulgence to all the faithful who undertake a pilgrimage and enter either of the two Holy Doors before the end of the Jubilee Year on 23 October 2024.

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

05 November 2023, 10:42