top of page

Pontifical Good Friday Collection for the Holy Land

Where is the Holy Land?

The Holy Land is an area located between the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern bank of the Jordan River where all the religious and historical events of the Old and New Testament came to pass. The incarnation of the Son and Word of God took place here, and it was here that the first Church was founded.  Within this area, Christianity was first proclaimed and established. 

Israel is bordered by Syria and Lebanon to the north, Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the southwest. The river Jordan forms the border between Israel and Jordan, and flows between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Today, the term "Holy Land" refers to a territory roughly corresponding to the modern states of Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Cyprus.


Good Friday: A day of universal solidarity with the Church in the Holy Land

Message from Br. Francesco Patton - Custos of the Holy Land

What is the Pontifical Good Friday Collection?

The Pontifical Good Friday Collection, also known as "Pro Terra Sancta" Collection is the main source of financial resources for the maintenance of life around the Holy Places.  When a Christian community is in need, all the members of the Ecclesial Body move to its aid.  The collection with which, for centuries, Christians around the world have been doing their utmost for the presence of their brothers and sisters, in the land of Jesus, is the most important of the Catholic Church.  I

The Holy Father wishes for the bond between all the Christians in the world and the Holy Places to remain strong.  The offerings collected by parishes and dioceses acorss the world are sent to the Custody of the Holy Land and used for the maintenance of the Holy Places and the support of Christians in the Holy Land, the living stones of the Holy Land.    

How the Collection is Used

Photo: Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Pastoral Care of Christians in the Land of Jesus' Birth

The majority of Christians in the Holy Land face great hardships due to political instability in the region.  In 1948, Christians made up 30% of population in the Holy Land; they now comprise roughly 1.5%. The Franciscans provide pastoral care for most of the Roman Catholic parishes and academic institutions in the Holy Land, including the regions affected most by war.  


Photo: Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Social & Charitable Activities

Some parts of the Holy Land have unemployment rates as high as 50%.  In order to encurage Christians to remain in the Holy Land, the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land and the Latin Patriarchate have built thousands of residential units for the poor and the young. They also build senior care facilities and provide medical assistance.  Recent funds from the Good Friday collection helped create 1,200 jobs and restore 1,000 homes for Christian families.  


Photo: Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Education & Scientific Activities

The Good Friday Collection provides education, vocational training and support to schools.  They provide scholarships in science, music and history, and support seminarians training for the priesthood.  They provide ongoing research and education that supports the conservation and development of archaeological sites and Holy Places.  

Photo: Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Ecumenism and Communications

In a region where the three great Abrahamic religions have their origin, the Franciscan friars are at the forefront of building better relationships among world religions and various Christian denominations, particularly in the shared places of prayer. The Christian Media Center communicates with Christians around the world in a variety of languages.


Photo: Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Memory, Shrines, Pilgrimage and Liturgy

The Franciscans received the mission of preserving the Holy Places of Christianity in the Holy Land.  They enable those who live in the Holy Land and those who visit on pilgrimage in the footsteps of Jesus to deepen their faith and their spiritual and cultural connection to salvation history.  They lead the liturgical celebrations in the sanctuaries and welcome pilgrims.


Learn More About the Holy Land!  

Custodia Terrae Sanctae - Franciscans serving the Holy Land

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem - Ireland

Congregation of the Rosary Sisters

Aid to the Church in Need

Caritas Jerusalem

bottom of page