Papal Visit to the Holy Land May 2014
On the 50th anniversary of an historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagora, Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
The Pope spent Saturday May 24 which was the first day of his visit to the region in Jordan. On Sunday morning he visited Bethlehem where he attended Mass at the Church of the Nativity and later he landed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport where he was welcomed by President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. An historic meeting between Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world’s orthodox Christians took place outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem after which they entered the Church and prayed together.
The last day of Pope Francis’s visit was spent in Jerusalem which began with a visit to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall where he prayed and placed a letter in the crevices of the Wall. This was followed by a visit and wreath laying ceremony at Mount Herzl, a visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and meetings with the Prime Minister and the President.
Pope Francis concluded his day in Jerusalem with visits to a number of Christian Holy Sites including the Garden of Gethsemane and participating in high Mass in the room of the Cenacle.
During his visit Pope Francis invited the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to come to the Vatican to pray for peace.