: LAND JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME
By MARIAN CURD
-I QT'S wife looked back and 4 was turned into a statue of salt: that was in the days of Abraham when the Lord rained down fire and brimstone on to the Dead Sea cities the evil and vice in their midst.
If today the salty promontory (claimed by the more credulous to be Mrs. Lot) were to have another look round she would probably find herself facing a battery of tourist cameras.
Among those cameras not long ago was one with a really poetic touch. It was in the hands of Frederiquc Duran busily planning an album of pictures devoted to what has changed least in the Holy Land since the time of Christ.
MDURAN has gathered in pie
tore form mankind's most precious and tangible memories; Canon Rene Leconte, Dean of the Faculty of Theology. Lille, has contributed an excellent text and archaeological notes while Cardinal Lienart, Archbishop of Lille, contributes a most thoughtful forward to the resulting book: "In The Steps of Jesus" (Constable & Co., 45s.).
A big fear facing the potential visitor to. modern Israel and Jordan is that the 20th century and all the centuries in between, will have plastered themselves so much across the scene that little will be left to recognise from the beloved New Testament narration.
You can walk—it would be better to ride though—the road that Judah the Macabee travelled 2,000 years before you; and Saladin, and Richard the Lion Heart—the road to Jerusalem. And you will not find it all that different.
You can stand in the Bedouin camel market of Beersheba and drink from Abraham's well, or you may stand by the sea of Galilee and think of the fishermen who were once called to "Follow Me".
"Only a few hours flight from anywhere", say the travel ads: but be prepared. The Holy Land—both in Israel and Jordan has been transformed and scarred by history, but it can still show you much that Christ saw—and it is to those scenes that this book is devoted. Many places have changed beyond recognition. but this is still the land where God came down on earth—where the Redemption took place. And you will feel this all the more as you ponder M. Duran's lovely pictures —some of them in colour.
The very modernisation of Israel has made easier the investigation of the past. The Vatican. England. America, France—all have schools of archaeology in Jerusalem. Learned men of many lands are producing an unparalleled amount of information which, except through the Bible, was unknown 100 years ago The refuting rationalists of the last century have been succeeded by concrete evidence of the Truth of our Holy Books, says Cardinal Lienart, in his forward. Although there are such exciting excavations as those for the ancient walls of Jericho. how much more important that we can gain greater familiarity with the life of Christ. For example, the stone steps which He ascended on His way to Gethsemane and the Last Supper have been identified as has the
threshold of the gate He used to go out to Golgotha.
For 2,000 years scholar, crusader and pilgrim have burned with a desire to see the Holy Places. The modern traveller following in their footsteps can fly out between breakfast and tea, or make the 4-6 day journey by sea from Marseilles, or even travel by cargo boat all the way.
See Bethlehem on its hilltop catching the evening breeze; see Nazareth—hidden as ever and byepassed by most; see the holy places piled with memorial shrines and churches, and see the countryside worked industriously again today as it was in the time of Christ Himself—and, while you are saving up for that pilgrimage of a lifetime you can strengthen your purpose still further by acquiring M. Duran's delightful book.
Flying the sick to Lourdes
The national pilgrimage to Lourdes this year will leave Victoria Station, London, at 6.30 p.m. on Monday, May 23, and will return on May 31. It is being led by Cardinal Godfrey, who will be accompanied by Bishop Wall of Brentwood, Bishop Petit of Menevia, and Bishop Restieaux of Plyni outh.
One hundred and fifty sick pilgrims are going, and, for the first time, 20 sick pilgrims are being flown on one of the two aircraft booked for the pilgrimage. This year, over £1,500 from the sick pilgrims fund of the Society of Our Lady of Lourdes has been spent in helping manly sick pilgrims with their fares.
The quarters of Jerusalem which Jesus crossed on His way to Calvary have remained mostly untouched by modern life and it is easier here than elsewhere lo visualise the events of the Passion. Since the 16th century this street has been known as the "Via Dolorosa". (Detail for plate 47.)