Pope Francis will have an intense schedule of events when he travels to the Holy Land in May.
The Holy See Press Office released the Pope’s itinerary for his visit which will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the visit is “continuing as planned.”
Fr. Lombardi also addressed concerns regarding a labor dispute that has crippled Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
“We are aware that in Israel there is a tense union situation, but we hope that we would soon be able to resume formal contacts with the authorities responsible for the proper preparation for the visit of the Pope,” Fr. Lombardi said.
The Holy Father will arrive at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, on May 24th and will be driven to the Al-Husseini Royal Palace where he will be greeted by the King and Queen of Jordan.
Following the ceremony, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass at the International Stadium and visit the site of Jesus’ Baptism in Bethany beyond the Jordan. Concluding his first day, the Pope will meet with refugees and disabled youth at a Latin Church near the site.
On Sunday, May 25th, the Pope will travel by helicopter to Bethlehem where he will meet with President Mahmoud Abbas and address the Palestinian Authority. He will then celebrate Mass in Manger Square, near the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Before departing for Jerusalem, the Holy Father will visit the grotto of the Nativity and visit a refugee camp.
After his arrival in Jerusalem, the Holy Father will meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and will take part in an Ecumenical Meeting to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras.
Before departing on May 26th to Rome, Pope Francis will visit the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and make stops at the Wailing Wall, and the Yad Vashem. The Holy Father will also celebrate mass at the Cenacle, site of the Last Supper. (J.A.E.)
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On ZENIT’s web page:
To read the Holy Father’s complete Itinerary in the Holy Land, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-s-schedule-during-visit-to-the-holy-land