Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – A statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague has arrived in Pakistan, in the diocese of Faisalabad, in Punjab, and a Shrine dedicated to the Infant Jesus is to be a centre of pilgrimage for Catholics from all over the country: Fides was told by Fr Emmanuel Parvez, parish priest of St Paul Apostle in Pansara in the diocese of Faisalabad, in Punjab, who had requested the Shrine in Prague for an image of the Infant Jesus to spread the devotion. "Next to the Shrine - Fr Emmaunel told Fides- there will be a small dispensary and nursery and primary school ". The shrine will be important for children in particular : teachers and catechists will be encouraged to organise pilgrimages and meetings to promote the mission: "We wish the centre to become a place to spread through the faith and purity of children, the peace and love of Christ in Pakistan. We ask the Infant Jesus of Prague to protect the sons and daughters of Pakistan from bloodshed, violence and death", the parish priest adds.
The statue of the Infant, awaited so expectantly by the local community, (see Fides 20/12/2012), arrived in Faisalabad through the Apostolic Nunciature. At Panasara parish more than 200 children, Christian and Muslim, organised a festive welcome with singing and dancing. At the end of the Holy Mass to celebrate the event, Fr. Parvez said "the Messiah and Saviour of the world has come among us to bring us light". Filled with enthusiasm the children promised to work hard to spread devotion to Infant Jesus of Prague in Pakistan. " Pakistan is a country afflicted by violence and terrorism, the cause of many innocent deaths. We pray that the presence of the miraculous Infant, may bring an era of peace, security and harmony. Our Muslim families and children are with us, they appreciate the initiative and support our efforts", Fr. Parvez concluded. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/2/2013)