The new custodian of the Catholic Church's properties in the Holy Land has taken office in Jerusalem.

Italian Franciscan priest Rev. Francesco Patton replaced Pierbattista Pizzaballa in a ceremony on Monday. Several hundred people attended the festivities.

A procession of priests, nuns and other clergy welcomed Patton, 52, at Jaffa Gate, a main entrance to Jerusalem's Old City, home to key holy sites sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims.

From there they walked together with a troupe of Palestinian Catholic boy scouts through the narrow winding cobblestone streets of the ancient city, across the Christian quarter to the Saint Savior monastery.

Another ceremony will be held on Tuesday at the Church of Holy Sepulchre, the site where tradition holds that Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.