Holy Land: Vandal tries to set fire to Dormition Abbey

Jerusalem, Israel, May 28, 2014 / 01:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As Pope Francis concluded his trip to the Holy Land on May 26, an unknown man attempted to set fire to the Abbey of the Dormition, the place where according to tradition the Virgin Mary fell asleep before being assumed into Heaven. Witnesses told the EFE news agency that an unknown man set fire to a book and placed it on top of a small pile of wooden crosses in between the pews. The fire was immediately extinguished. “We … [Read more...]

Pope Francis recalls birth of Church in Upper Room

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 09:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At the conclusion of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope Francis focused his homily at Mass on the significance of the Upper Room, held to be the site of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus' apostles. “It is a great gift that the Lord has given us by bringing us together here in the Upper Room for the celebration of the Eucharist,” said Pope Francis on May 26 in Jerusalem. “Here, where Jesus shared … [Read more...]

At Gethsemane, Pope urges religious to live without fear

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 08:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Religious, priests, and seminarians gathered in the Church near the garden of Gethsemane today to meet with Pope Francis, who urged them to follow Christ with courage. “The Lord in his great goodness and his infinite mercy always takes us by the hand lest we drown in the sea of our fears and anxieties. He is ever at our side, he never abandons us,” the Pope assured those gathered near the site of Jesus' agony in the … [Read more...]

Vatican: Pope’s stop at terrorist memorial not a political move

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 07:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid claims that Pope Francis' unscheduled stop at an Israeli memorial for terrorist victims was made under pressure to appease government officials, the Holy See has said that the rumors are false. Stating that he “was not surprised” by the negative reactions some have had toward the Pope’s stop, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi explained to journalists May 26 that the visit “was against terrorism … [Read more...]

Pope, Israeli president renew mutual commitment to peace

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 07:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a meeting today with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Pope Francis expressed his hope that Jerusalem would be a true 'city of peace,' with Peres echoing his commitment. “May Jerusalem be truly the City of Peace! May her identity and her sacred character, her universal religious and cultural significance shine forth as a treasure for all mankind,” said the Pope on May 26 in the garden of the president’s … [Read more...]

Christ’s resurrection unites us, Pope tells faithful in Israel

Jerusalem, Israel, May 25, 2014 / 12:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At an ecumenical celebration in Jerusalem during his visit to the region, Pope Francis told inter-denominational Christians that the Risen Christ unites them all in a message of hope for the world. “Each of us, everyone baptized in Christ, has spiritually risen from this tomb, for in baptism all of us truly became members of the body of the One who is the Firstborn of all creation,” Pope Francis said.   The Pope … [Read more...]

Pope makes new Christian unity step in meeting with Patriarch

Jerusalem, Israel, May 25, 2014 / 11:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a declaration delivered at the end of a private meeting, Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Costantinople Bartholomew I marked a new step on the journey towards unity, stressing their commonality in areas such as respect for the sanctity of life and the protection of the family.   Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew met in Mount Scopus, Jerusalem on May 25 during the pontiff's current three-day visit to the … [Read more...]