Constantina (Agenzia Fides) - "He who does not know where he comes from cannot know where he is going". This is the conviction of the Catholics of the Diocese of Constantina in Algeria, who embark on a "journey in stages" in search of the richness and importance of historical events and figures that marked the history of the Christian communities of the first centuries in Algeria and have shaped in other countries of the Maghreb. Divided into four “stages”, the initiative started in September 2021 and will continue in the coming months. Sister Rosalie Sanon of the Sisters of the Annunciation provides information on the excursions already carried out and the future routes on the diocesan website. Developed by the region's Catholic community with the participation of Bishop Nicolas Lhernould, the programs allow participants to journey through seven centuries of history, discovering saints, church fathers, ancient texts and visiting archaeological sites.
Led by Bishop Nicholas, the participants explored the historical events related to the kingdoms of Numidia and the Roman Empire, the passions of the first martyrs, the controversy surrounding the baptized who had denied the faith in times of persecution, then asked to being readmitted into the community. A journey into the past in which participants will immerse themselves in the richness of cultures and peoples (Berbers, Numidians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines). The excursions to the archaeological sites of Tiddis and Timgad - reports Sister Rosalie in her contribution - focused on the themes of prayer of the early Christians, the celebration of the sacraments in the first centuries and the transmission of the faith in the political and cultural context of the Roman Empire. The names of Cyprian, Augustine, his parents Patricius and Monica, Fulgentius and other great eastern witnesses of the first Christian centuries, such as Justin and Ignatius of Antioch, were mentioned again and again. The next two stages of the program launched by the Diocese of Constantina will take place in spring: In the footsteps of Saint Augustine, the participants in the initiative will visit Souk-Ahras, Madaure, Hippo and Guelma. In the Tebessa region, they then delve into the vicissitudes of the local Christian communities during the Vandal and Byzantine periods. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 21/1/2022)