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Pope Francis begins his Holy Land pilgrimage

25 May, 201425 May, 2014 0 comments Events Events


Pope Frances arrives to Bethlehem today for the start of a two day visit to the Palestinian Territories and Israel in a pilgrimage entitled "Peace, Faith, Tolerance". The Pope is making this historic visit accompanied by his very close friend, Abraham Skorka, former director of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary in Buenos Aires, and Sheik Omar Abboud, a former secretary-general of the Islamic Center of Argentina. Both figures are involved in inter-religious dialogue.


Highlights of the visit include a mass in Bethlehem on Sunday as well as a meeting and prayer service with Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew who is based in Lebanon. It is the first such visit of a Lebanese clergy to Israel. Together they will preside over a prayer service in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre located within the Old City of Jerusalem.  The meeting marks the  anniversary of a similarly historic meeting by their predecessors 50 years ago on the Mt. of Olives. That meeting ended 900 years of Catholic-Orhtodox estrangement.


On Monday May 26th, the Pope will focus on visiting the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, as well as Israel's chief rabbis. He will also visit Yad Vashem and   pray at the Western Wall before meeting Shimon Peres at his residence where there will be a short reception with the international diplomatic core residing in Israel.  He will also have a private meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


The Pope's official schedule is as follows:

16:30 - Official arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport

17:15 - Departure by helicopter to Jerusalem

17:45 - Arrival at the Jerusalem helipad on Mount Scopus

19:00-20:00 - Ecumenical meeting on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre

20:15 - Dinner and meeting with Patriarchs and Bishops at the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem

Monday, May 26, 2014

08:15-09:00 - Meeting with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and tour of the Temple Mount/Esplanade of the Mosques

09:10-09:30 - Visit to the Western Wall

09:45-09:55 - Lay a wreath at grave of Theodor Herzl, at Mount Herzl (with the President and Prime Minister)

10:00-10:30 - Visit to Yad Vashem (with the President and Prime Minister)

10:45 - Visit to the two chief rabbis at Heichal Shlomo

11:40-12:40 - Meeting with President Shimon Peres, at the Presidential Residence

13:00 - Private meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

15:30 - Meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, Mount of Olives

16:00-16:50 - Meeting with 500 priests and seminarians in the Church of Gethsemane, and the planting of a tree

17:20-19:00 - Holy Mass in the Room of the Last Supper (Cenacle)

19:30 - Transfer by helicopter from the Jerusalem helipad on Mount Scopus to Ben Gurion International Airport

20:00 - Farewell ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport


The Pope also plans a private visit to the Notre Dame Center where we will official bless the tabernacle of the new "Duc In Altum" Spirituality Center  at Magdala on the Sea of Galilee. The Spirituality Center will formerly be inaugurated at a special service and reception this coming Wednesday, May 28th at 3 pm.


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Elisa L. Moed is the Founder and CEO of Travelujah-Holy Land tours, the leading Christian travel network focusing on Holy Land Tours. People can learn, plan, and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.




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