‘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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Pope opens trip to Holy Land with appeal for religious freedom, peace

Amman, Jordan, May 24, 2014 / 06:57 am (CNA).- Today Pope Francis began his pilgrimage to the Holy Land by visiting with the authorities in the kingdom of Jordan, urging them to support efforts for peace amongst Christians and Muslims. “Religious freedom is in fact a fundamental human right and I cannot fail to express my hope that it will be upheld throughout the Middle East and the entire world,” said Pope Francis on May 24 in the Royal Palace of Amman, Jordan. Pope Francis … [Read more...]

Pope’s presence at sepulcher a step toward unity, journalist says

Jerusalem, Israel, May 24, 2014 / 06:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In light of centuries-old property divisions within the Holy Sepulcher, a Vatican journalist who lived in the Holy Land has expressed that locals welcome Pope Francis’ visit as moving in the direction of peace. “They all long for peace, they long for peace within very crucial situations between Israel and Palestine,” Paul Badde told CNA May 24, adding that although the Pope himself cannot do much in terms of … [Read more...]

Pope Francis entrusts Holy Land trip to Virgin Mary

Rome, Italy, May 23, 2014 / 09:55 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis privately visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome this morning to pray and entrust to the Virgin Mary his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. After 15 minutes of meditation and prayer before the image of Mary known as Salus Populi Romani, Pope Francisco offered a bouquet of white and yellow roses at the feet of the Virgin. Since the beginning of his papal ministry in March 2013, this is the eighth visit Pope Francis has … [Read more...]


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