Holy Land

Pope Francis yesterday welcomed the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to the Vatican for an evening of prayers for peace in the region. The occasion came just weeks after the last round of US-sponsored negotiations collapsed and following the Holy Father’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land last month at which he invited the two men to his 'home' for what has been termed a Prayer Encounter.Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas embraced in the...
Today’s prayer encounter with the Presidents of Israel and Palestine at the Vatican will provide space for people to stand back from the Middle East conflict and “recreate a desire for change”, according to the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa”. He was speaking at a press conference on Friday, at which he and the head of the Holy See’s press office, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, announced details of the encounter between Pope Francis,...
The Presidents of Israel and Palestine will travel to the Vatican this Sunday, 8 June to pray for peace with Pope Francis. Leaders Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas accepted the Pope's invitation to pray together at 'his home' after he issued it during his Apostolic Journey to the Holy Land last month.It was after celebrating Mass in Manger Square, Bethlehem and reciting the Regina Coeli that Pope Francis addressed the two leaders: “In...
Pope Francis’ three-day visit to the Holy Land was billed principally as a religious occasion: to cement relations with the Orthodox Church by marking the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s historic meeting in Jerusalem with Patriarch Athenagoras I. But the Jesuit pontiff’s pilgrimage was filled with symbolic acts of reconciliation and spontaneous events of prayerfulness that few could have anticipated.The Pope’s arrival in Bethlehem direct from Jordan was interpreted as...
Pope Francis has issued an invitation to the Presidents of Israel and of Palestine to attend prayers for peace at the Vatican. The invitation was issued during the Holy Father's three-day visit to the Holy Land and has been described as being very much his own initiative.Pope Francis is in the Middle East principally to improve ties between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church: he is due to meet the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of...
Pope Francis is due to arrive in Amman later today at the start of his three-day visit to the Middle East. After a courtesy visit to meet the King and Queen of Jordan, he will celebrate Mass at the International Stadium before meeting refugees and disabled young people in Bethany.Tomorrow, the Holy Father will fly to Bethlehem where he will celebrate Mass in Manger Square and join pilgrims at the traditional site of Jesus' birth. He will also meet with Palestinians at the Dheishe refugee...