The Custodian and the mission of the Franciscans in the Holy Land
The Custos of the Holy Land, or Guardian of Mount Zion, has a task that was given to him about 600 years ago by the Holy See. For centuries, his role has been of decisive importance in the administration of the Custody. All Catholic sanctuaries are under his responsibility, and his task is to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land, in collaboration with the local Church. The current Custos is Pierbattista Pizzaballa, elected in 2004 and reconfirmed by the Pope in 2009 for another three-year period.