Fragment Of Jesus’ Manger Arrives In Bethlehem From Europe

The Custos of the Holy Land Francesco Patton (C-L), carries the Relic of the Holy Crib of the Child Jesus, during a procession at the Church of the Nativity compound in Bethlehem on November 30, 2019, initiating celebrations for the arrival of the relic, a gift from the Pope Francis to the Custody of the Holy Land. Musa Al SHAER / AFP

 

 

A wooden fragment believed to be from the manger of Jesus arrived in his birthplace of Bethlehem on Saturday amid great ceremony after more than 1,300 years in Europe.

A Palestinian scout band playing bagpipes, drums and saxophones accompanied the relic as it arrived in Manger Square, an AFP reporter said.

Housed in Rome since the seventh century, the relic had been presented to the Franciscan custodians of the Holy Land as a gift from the Vatican.

Worshippers thronged the square as the chief custodian for the Holy Land, Francesco Patton, carried the ornate reliquary housing the relic into the Saint Catherine Church next to the Church of the Nativity, where he led mass.

On Friday Patton told AFP that the seventh-century Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, had sent the relic to Rome in around 640 as a gift to Pope Theodore I.

Now the item, about a centimetre wide by 2.5 centimetres (an inch) long, is to be installed “for ever” in Bethlehem, he said.

“We venerate the relic because (it) reminds us of the mystery of incarnation, to the fact that the son of God was born of Mary in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago,” Patton said.

Bethlehem has planned celebrations stretching until Christmas for the homecoming.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas had asked Pope Francis to repatriate the crib fragment during his visit to the Vatican for Middle East peace talks in December 2018, said Palestinian envoy to the Holy See, Issa Kassissieh.

AFP

Colourful Christmas Eve Celebration Across The World

Indonesian nationals pose for a selfie underneath a giant Christmas tree on the eve of the holiday in Hong Kong’s Central district on December 24, 2017.
TENGKU Bahar / AFP

Christmas is a season characterised by colourful celebration. The 25th of December is the day globally set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is welcomed with Christmas Eve celebration heralding the birth of Jesus Christ.

Here are some colourful pictures of Christmas Eve celebration from different nations of the world:

Christians Advised To Proclaim Resurrection Of Jesus

Christians have been advised to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to signify the finished work of faith and eternal life through salvation.

The senior Pastor of Shelter of Glory Church, Makurdi, the Benue state capital, King Omudu, gave the charge during the Sunday Easter service.

Apostle Omudu recounted the efforts by those opposed to the church, to discredit the salvation offered to mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“Only John was close a bit, he was close enough to see, everybody melted into the crowd, they stood afar and gave a distance, infact, it was the women that were even coming a bit close.

“This was their state on Friday, this was who they had become on Friday and then on Sunday morning, something happened, and something changed. The same people that were so afraid for their lives and did not want to associate with him, they turned around.

“The bold proclamation of the apostles and the eloquent silence of the Jews, is an evidence that he is alive. Look at how their lives so radically changed, before now, they were hiding from even little children but right now they will shout it from roof tops that Jesus is not dead but he is alive.

“If Jesus is alive, it means that everything he said he was to do for you, he did them all,” the clergyman noted.

Christians Across The World Celebrate Easter

Christians Across The World Celebrate EasterChristians around the world have on Sunday, gathered to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

This is a major celebration for Christians as it is believed to be the foundation of their faith.

Observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year, Easter is the culmination of the passion of Jesus Christ, preceded by, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance, called the lent.

Churches in Nigeria are marking this day with several activities lined up throughout the holiday period.

Christmas: Christian Leaders Task Faithful On Good Virtues

Christians, ChristmasAs Nigerians join their counterparts across the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Christian leaders have stressed the need for them to uphold the virtues of the Christianity.

At the Cathedral of Saint Michael Anglican Communion in Kaduna State, the parishioners celebrated Christmas with praise and thanksgiving.

The Bishop of Kaduna Archdiocese, Most Reverend Timothy Yahaya, expressed optimism that Nigeria would overcome her numerous challenges if only the citizens start to do things right.

He appealed to the leaders to govern with love and patriotism, just as Jesus Christ showed love to mankind.

Bishop Yahaya, however, decried the evil practices of looting of public funds, bad governance and high rate of poverty in the country.

He asked political leaders to give the people hope instead of disappointment and to use the Christmas celebration to show love and care to the masses just as Jesus did.

Way Forward

The cleric commended the anti-corruption war by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in which some stolen public funds from corrupt public officers were recovered.

However, he noted that the war should not be one-sided, but should be holistic starting from 1960 till date.

Bishop Yahaya further suggested that the way forward for Nigeria was for leaders and the citizens to shun corruption, nepotism and hatred and begin to see themselves as one people bounded by one destiny.

God Is With Us

Meanwhile in Benue State, Nigerians have been advised to look up to God for protection and preservation for the protection of mankind.

The Parish Priest of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Nyiman, Father Moses Aonduveer Iorapuu, gave the advice during an interview with Channels Television on the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ.

The clergyman asked Nigerians and government to wait upon the Lord who he said is with them in all situation as “exemplified in the name Emmanuel, meaning God is with us”.

In Nigeria’s capital, the Primate of Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, asked Nigerians to shun all forms of discrimination and embrace spirit of love, sacrifice and giving.

Reverend Okoh stated that the country can only experience meaningful development when its citizens live in unity,

Clergymen in other states also asked Christians across the country to be imbibe the lessons of the season.

Gov. Ikpeazu Says Christmas Is Season Of Giving

Gov. Ikpeazu Says Christmas Is Season Of GivingThe Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has called on Abians and Christians to remember the teachings of Christ which command Christians to love one another.

In his Christmas message to Abians, the Governor called on Christians to pray for peace in Abia and Nigeria as the world celebrates the birth of Christ, who is the Savior of mankind.

“As Christians, we must remember the teachings of Jesus Christ which calls us to love one another and also to pray for our leaders.

It is important we see this season as an opportunity to reach out to the less privileged, the needy and also to offer help to the helpless.

As Abians and Nigerians, we need love to strengthen our relationship with one another, this is the greatest commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Former Ogun Governor Urges Peace Among Nigerians

Gbenga Daniel, Peace, NigeriansFormer Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, has urged Nigerians to use the occasion of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ to offer special prayers for peace to reign in the country and the world at large.

Mr Daniel, who stated this in a Christmas message on Sunday, tasked both Christians and Muslim faithful to rededicate themselves to love, peace, unity, equity and justice, in order to further strengthen their spiritual confrontation of the ills plaguing the society.

According to him, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the fulfilment of God’s great love for humanity.

“We must remain committed to the worthy ideals of the season and spread the joy of God to others irrespective of their religion affiliations.

“Despite myriad of challenges facing us as a nation in poverty, diseases, crimes, violence and insurgency, our continued existence as a nation was a great testimony that God is still with Nigeria and will continue to protect us the more if we come closer to him.

“Celebrate the season with prudence and remember the less privileged as it is a season of humility, goodwill and selflessness as taught by the scriptures and must be observed with moderation and care for fellow citizens, as we join others in recognising the renewed hope and reaffirmation of God’s great love for the people of the world and Nigerians in particular,” the former governor said.

Saraki, Ekweremadu Celebrate With Christians At Christmas

Bukola Saraki, Ike Ekweremadu, ChristiansNigerian Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has urged Nigerians to use the yuletide to rededicate themselves to the service of humanity, in line with the true teachings of Jesus Christ which emphasise selflessness, piety, brotherly kindness and love towards one another.

Senator Saraki, in his Christmas message, also reiterated the commitment of the 8th Senate towards ensuring that Nigeria regains her pride among the comity of nations through relevant and timely legislation.

He said that the season should not be seen only as a merrymaking period, but as a time to pray fervently for a peaceful and prosperous nation.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Senate President, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, has called on Nigerians to show love to their neighbours at Christmas.

Senator Ekweremadu said Christmas would be empty without acts of love as shown by Christ.

He stressed that the spirit of sharing is an African tradition which generates happiness and ensures social stability in the absence of a formal social security mechanism that caters for the less privileged in the society.

The lawmaker, who regretted that Nigeria had lost much of her traditional social security values, urged the citizens to revive the values at Christmas.

Ooni Reveres Jesus Christ, Says His Forgiving Spirit Must Be Coveted

Adeyeye-Ogunwusi-Ooni-of-IfeThe Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) has described Jesus Christ as the Lord of Peace and Love with an unparalleled forgiving spirit that the world must covet for absolute peace.

He believes Christ should always be remembered and honoured with the existence of love and peace by the Christians, saying it is the only way harmonious co-existence can be achieved not only within the ranks of his followers but also among the members of the larger global society for whom Jesus lived and died over 2,000 years ago.

Ooni Ogunwusi made the admonition on Saturday in his Christmas message through a press statement by his spokesman, Comrade Moses Olafare.

He stressed that the people of the world must see themselves as one before God Almighty and must treat one another with forgiveness, peace and love, as symbolised by Jesus Christ if the world must be a conducive place for everyone to survive.

“There is no greater gift and honour you can give to Jesus Christ other than exhibition of forgiving spirit, display of love and ensuring of absolute peace because these are what the lord Jesus symbolises.

“We all must see ourselves as equal before the almighty God who purposefully created us with different cultural backgrounds.

“The surest way of achieving the much needed global harmony is when we always imbibe the spirit of forgiveness and extend hand of love and peace to one another. With this, Jesus Christ will be happy in heaven, God will always smile to us and of course the world will become a better place for all of us to dwell happily,” he said.

The African foremost monarch while wishing all the Christians in Nigeria and across the globe a merry Christmas, also urged religious leaders to always lead by example by not just preaching like Jesus Christ but always acting like Him if their followers should take them seriously.

Buhari Urges Nigerians To Pray For Divine Guidance

Buhari Urges Nigerians To Pray For Divine GuidanceFew hours ahead of Christmas day, Nigeria’s President, Mohammadu Buhari, has sent a yuletide message urging Nigerians to pray for divine guidance in the face of the country’s challenges.

In a statement released on Saturday, the President said:

“Dear Compatriots, I heartily rejoice with all Nigerians, particularly our Christian brothers and sisters, on this year’s celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

“As we celebrate this year’s Christmas, I believe that it is very appropriate for us to reflect on the love of God aptly espoused in the teachings and lifestyle of Jesus Christ.

“During his earthly sojourn, Jesus Christ repeatedly reminded his disciples and followers of peace that comes in the midst of trials and tribulations on earth.

“There is no better time than now in our nation’s history to pray for divine guidance to get over our current challenges.

“We can have peace in Nigeria if we all learn to tolerate and appreciate one another, respect constituted authority; and be our brothers’ keepers in word and deed.”

Furthermore, he stated that: “During this period, we should remember to offer special prayers to God for all our heroic citizens who paid the supreme price to restore peace and security in the northeast and other flash points in the country.

“Let us also remember in our prayers the security forces in the front-line in the continuing battle to rid our nation of terrorism and violence.

“We must not forget the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in our midst and those who have suffered untold hardship as a result of activities of insurgents and terrorists.

“Our immediate priority is to alleviate the poverty of Nigerians by quickly stimulating the economy. I assure Nigerians that our government is doing its best to make life easier for all,” he said.

“Let us therefore, renew our hope in the God-ordained unity, progress and prosperity of our great nation.

“I wish all travellers safe movements and a memorable holiday as we celebrate with our family and friends, Merry Christmas!” the President prayed.

Easter Celebration: Clerics Task Nigerians On Good Virtues

Nicholas-OkohThe Primate of the Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, is asking Nigerians to imbibe Jesus Christ’s sense of self-sacrifice by putting the interest of the nation above personal and narrow interests.

Speaking to Channels Television at the Cathedral Church of Advent in Abuja, Reverend Okoh said that Easter serves as a reminder that there is hope for Nigeria despite the challenges facing the country.

He added that the challenge to Nigerians at Easter, was for everyone to rally round and build the nation.

In Borno State, Christians in Maiduguri joined the rest of the world to celebrate Easter in remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Worshippers at the St. Patrick Church of the Maiduguri Catholic Diocese were in high spirits during the Easter service, marking the end of this year’s Lenten season.

A Deacon of the church, Anona Augustine, advised the congregation to imbibe the lessons of Easter and live exemplary lives, especially now that the country is facing difficult times.

Also at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp set up by the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state, the Easter Sunday was observed like every other day.

One of the IDPs, Martha Musa, said: “God has been providing for us and he has been blessing us in many ways. Even this Easter food items were donated to us and we are most grateful”.

Also in his remark, the camp leader, John Ali, added: “Easter reminds us to keep faith knowing that whoever dies in Christ would rise again like Jesus did. Today, we were asked to do good works and imitate the life Jesus Christ lived and to love each other obeying all commandments”.

Although, there were no processions to mark the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the streets as demonstrated in other states, Christian faithful in Jos, Plateau State had the opportunity of witnessing the demonstration of the crucifixion at some of the churches where the Passion of Christ was demonstrated to the congregation.

 

Senate President Calls For Peace At Easter

Senate PresidentThe Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, is asking Christians across the country to use the Easter celebration to pray for sustainable peace and economic growth in the country.

Senator Saraki, in his message to mark the Easter festivities being held in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by Christians across the world, says that it is imperative for all Nigerians to borrow a leaf from the humility and sacrifice exhibited by Christ when he yielded his life for the redemption of mankind.

The Senate President is also reminding Christians of the need to remain steadfast and always promote religious harmony between and among various groups as a panacea for developing the nation.

Senator Saraki gave the assurance that the National Assembly would continue to make legislation, including the review and amendment of existing ones, to boost security, create conducive business and investment environment and support the fight against corruption.