Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to the Holy Land at the end of May will give a new impetus to the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem has said.
In his pastoral letter for Lent written in Arabic, Patriarch Fouad Twal proposed the traditional practices of Lent – prayer, fasting, almsgiving, receiving the Sacrament of Penance – and invited the faithful to prepare for the upcoming papal visit.
The Pope will be travelling as a pilgrim to “places that the Lord blessed us with by his birth, his baptism, his preaching, his death and resurrection,” Patriarch Twal said, according to a report by Fides news agency.
The Holy Father, he added, “will come to confirm our faith, to intensify ecumenical relations and interreligious dialogue and give a new impetus to the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, strengthening relations between the Vatican and each of the Countries that he will visit: Jordan, Palestine and Israel”.
The Latin Patriarch invited “the greatest possible number of the faithful to participate in Masses that the Holy Father will celebrate.” One will take place at the international stadium in Amman (May 24), and the other in the square of the Nativity in Bethlehem (May 25).
Since the end of February, a special media commission has been set up by the Assembly of Catholic ordinary Bishops of the Holy Land. It has created a website http://popefrancisholyland2014.lpj.org, accessible in 7 languages, which provides documentation regarding the Holy Father’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land and his intentions.
On Thursday afternoon, March 6th, an exhibition will be inaugurated at the hall of the Convent of St. Saviour in Jerusalem, titled “Paul VI in the Holy Land”, held under the patronage of the Custody of the Holy Land, which will comprise photos and historical documents regarding the Pope Paul VI’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1964.