Pope nears close of Holy Land pilgrimage

After a morning packed with meetings with Muslim and Jewish religious and local […]

AFP3244309_ArticoloAfter a morning packed with meetings with Muslim and Jewish religious and local authorities, a visit to the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, an unannounced stop at Israel’s “Memorial to the Victims of Terror”, and a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, Pope Francis met privately Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Pontifical Institute “Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center,” an important Jerusalem guest house for pilgrims visiting the region.

Following that encounter, Pope Francis shared lunch with the papal entourage and in the Chapel of the Notre Dame Jerusalem Center, blessed a tabernacle destined for a church in Galilee.

Later the Pope had an opportunity for a short private visit with Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople with whom he celebrated a special prayer liturgy Sunday evening at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The pontiff later prayed with some 400 men and women religious and seminarians at the Franciscan Church of Gethsemene near the Garden where Jesus prayed in agony the night he was arrested.

In the Garden outside, the Pope planted an olive tree close to the one planted by the first pontiff to visit the Holy Land, Pope Paul VI on January 4, 1964.


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