We came to pray with our Pope, says papal Mass volunteer

Jerusalem, Israel, May 25, 2014 / 12:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A leader of one of the Boy Scout troops manning the entrances to Pope Francis’ Mass in Bethlehem today explained that the volunteers came from all over in order to join the pontiff in praying for peace. “Now we came, all of us, to pray with our Pope, praying for peace. We’re praying for justice, to be and to give for everybody” George Zenee explained to CNA May 25. Zenee hails from Palestine and is a … [Read more...]

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Choir director: singing for the Pope is like welcoming your father

Jerusalem, Israel, May 25, 2014 / 11:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The director of the choir who sang during Pope Francis’ Mass in Bethlehem earlier today expressed that to sing for the pontiff in his country is like receiving your father into your home. “It’s as if you are welcoming your father in your home. You have a home, and your father is coming to support you,” Fr. Ibrahim Shomali told CNA May 25. “God is visiting you in his person and honoring him, honoring … [Read more...]

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Israeli, Palestinian presidents accept invitation meeting at Vatican

Bethlehem, West Bank, May 25, 2014 / 06:28 am (CNA).- Today Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that they have accepted Pope Francis’ invitation to join him at the Vatican for an encounter of prayer. Pope Francis issued his invitation at the close of a papal mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on May 25, asking both men “to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace. I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this … [Read more...]

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‘Who are we before the child Jesus?’ Pope reflects in Bethlehem

Bethlehem, West Bank, May 25, 2014 / 04:04 am (CNA).- In his homily delivered in Bethlehem this morning, Pope Francis meditated on the role of the Christ child in the life of every person. “The child Jesus, born in Bethlehem, every child who is born and grows up in every part of our world, is a diagnostic sign indicating the state of health of our families, our communities, our nation,” the Pope preached on May 25 in Manger Square in Bethlehem. “And we have to ask … [Read more...]

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Pope to Palestinian leaders: have courage to ‘forge peace’

Bethlehem, West Bank, May 25, 2014 / 02:16 am (CNA).- Pope Francis began the second day of his Holy Land pilgrimage in a meeting with Palestinian authorities, urging them to work for an end to conflict and violence in the region. “For decades the Middle East has known the tragic consequences of a protracted conflict which has inflicted many wounds so difficult to heal,” the Pope lamented to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and other authorities on May 25 in the presidential … [Read more...]

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Bethlehem sisters call on world to pray for peace

Jerusalem, Israel, May 24, 2014 / 09:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The sisters who run the only children’s hospital on the West Bank have made it their mission to pray for peace in the Holy Land, traveling each week to invoke a Marian icon on the wall dividing the region. Mary’s image is “a sign to pray the rosary and to look at her because” the situation is “not easy,” Sister Donatella of the Padua Franciscans told CNA May 24. The icon, she said, is a reminder … [Read more...]

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Mission of Holy Spirit is peace, preaches Pope in Jordan

Amman, Jordan, May 24, 2014 / 09:08 am (CNA).- Pope Francis focused the first homily of his Holy Land pilgrimage on the work of Holy Spirit in bringing peace and unity amongst different peoples. Preaching during the Mass held on May 24 at the International Stadium in Amman, Jordan, the Pope noted, “We are not far from where the Holy Spirit descended with power on Jesus of Nazareth after his baptism by John in the River Jordan.” “The mission of the Holy Spirit, in fact, is … [Read more...]

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