In the church in Bornova district of Izmir, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan community, and the feast of the Holy Name of the Virgin Mary, who gave the church its name, were celebrated on October 4, 2020 with a holy mass led by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Izmir, Monsignor Lorenzo Piretto.
Father Apollinaire Bahinde, the High Priest of the Bornova Church, and Father Gabriel Ferone, the General Vicar of the Izmir Church, also accompanied the holy mass and the other Fransiscan priests of the church Pascal and Felianus attended.
After reading the words from the Book of Syriac and from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, the Deacon Nikola read the words from chapter 11 of the Bible’s Book of Matthew.
Then, in his sermon, Monsignor Piretto said, ”Today we celebrate two very important holidays among the Christian community with joy. One is the Feast of the holy Name of Mary, which gave its name to this Bornova church; the other is, the 4th of October, the feast of St. Francis, the name of Mary is loved by Christians, also loved by Muslims: For us Christians, Mary is the Mother of God; For Muslims, it is the Mother of the Prophet Jesus.
Francis repented of pleasure-seeking and careless life and turned to Jesus. He strictly followed the words of the Bible and made his life similar to the poor Jesus, and lived by entrusting himself to the will of Father God.
Francis calls on everyone to feel to be the sons of God and each other’s brothers. Therefore, he founded the Franciscan fraternity so that they represent true and mutual love. In the face of the goodness of the Lord, Francis’s point of view in faith enabled him to see all creation as one family. All creation is the harvest of the love of the Lord.
Living and non-living beings must live in harmony and mutual respect. So there is an invitation to respect and protect all creation. “Peace and Goodness” slogan and salute of St. Francis and His Brothers is a vivid message for our world as well” he said.
While the African choir added color to the festival, all participants were given a meal in the garden of the church after the holy mass.