A Franciscan friar from Sheffield has spoken of his “great honour” at guiding Prince William around the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem.
Fr John Luke Gregory OFM – better known as Fr Luke – showed the prince around the highly significant church on Thursday, 28th June as part of his tour of Israel and Palestine.
“As a young friar I spent six years as cantor of the Holy Sepulchre, and have a great love and devotion to this church and the salvation it represents,” Fr Luke, who sits on the governing board of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, told The Universe.
According to tradition, the church contains two of the holiest sites in Christianity – Jesus’ crucifixion at Calvary and the location of his empty tomb where the Resurrection took place.
Fr Luke, who is also vicar general of the Archdiocese of Rhodes in Greece, revealed that the prince was surprised to find that his guide was a Sheffielder. However, “he listened attentively to all the explanations and his reverence and simplicity was quite moving,” said Fr Luke.
“He knelt and touched the unction stone where Jesus’ body had lain and was anointed after the crucifixion. We lit candles both in the tomb and on Mount Calvary and prayed.”
Picture: Fr Luke shows Prince William around the basilica, accompanied by the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem. (Nadim Asfour/CTS).