Pope Francis heads to the Holy Land

Posted by Siobhan O'Neill Meluso
Wednesday 21, May 2014 | Category:   Ecumenism
POPE FRANCIS will visit the Holy Land
May 24-26, 2014.

I remember my sacred Holy Land trip from 2008 often. The day after Easter I was given the wonderful opportunity to embark on a pilgrimage as a Catholic educator with other instructors hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Because of the beautiful interfaith discussions and subsequent friendships that blossomed, my trip to Israel still ranks number one. The overwhelming tug of my faith heart strings still feels fresh with each step through the plush green hills of the Galilee to the cobbled crowded arcades of the old city of Jerusalem.

I can't help but feel nostalgia as Pope Francis begins his journey to the Holy Land. The pilgrimage experience, particularly to the Holy Land, is something every Christian should experience once in their lifetime.

Read the official itinerary of Pope Francis' visit to the Holy Land here.

As NPR reports

In an unprecedented move, Francis asked two friends from Argentina to accompany him to the Holy Land, Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Islamic studies professor Omar Abboud.

Francis will pray with Syrian refugees in Jordan on Saturday. He'll then travel to Bethlehem, Jesus' birthplace in the Palestinian territories. Finally, he'll visit Jerusalem.

"He'll also commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic rapprochement between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. And he'll appeal for an end to the Christian exodus from the Middle East, where more and more Christians are dying in recent conflicts.

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