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Pope Benedict XVI, a pilgrim of peace in the Holy Land

Pope Benedict XVI, a pilgrim of peace in the Holy Land

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem remembers with sentiment and gratitude of Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land, from May 8-15, 2009 and June 4-6, 2010 in Cyprus. In text and images, we here offer a remembrance of the memorable visits of our Holy Father.


* The Souvenir Album of Pope Benedict’s visit to the Holy Land

“The visit of Pope Benedict in a land called to be holy”
Pope Benedict XVI made a long-awaited trip to the Holy Land. But what was his message? Father David Neuhaus, SJ, Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel, looks into the words and gestures of the Pope to unveil a prophetic message, which had too little coverage by the media. (…)

“Recognize the other as my equal, my brother, my sister”
The Pope’s visit to the Holy Land is a poignant demonstration of courage that the Christian faith gives, the courage of a father who has the responsibility to take care of his family. (…)

The Pope insists on the central role of women
During his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope Benedict XVI repeatedly called on the world to recognize the central role of women in the building and preservation of societies based on love and harmony. (…)

The agony of two peoples
In his welcome speech at the beginning of the Mass in the valley of Jehoshaphat on May 12, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch  of Jerusalem denounced strongly the world’s indifference to the suffering in the Holy Land and called for a just solution for the two peoples and three religions of believers. (…)

Peace, love and reconciliation
Pope Benedict XVI ended his pilgrimage with a renewed call for peace, love and reconciliation among all the people of the Holy Land. At the Holy Sepulchre, he prayed that the resurrection of Jesus shows the way: in the same way that Jesus rose from the dead, that peace can emerge from current enmity and distrust however inexplicable they may seem. (…) 

Pope cites the example of Jordan
Pope Benedict XVI began his pilgrimage to the Holy Land on May 8, 2009, expressing his deep respect for Muslims and gratitude for religious freedom that prevails in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He expressed the hope that his visit and all efforts to foster good relations between Christians and Muslims can help everyone grow in the love of the Almighty and Merciful God, and in love for one other. (…)

The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: two states and three religions
Referring to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Pope Benedict XVI, throughout his pilgrimage has supported the two-state solution, with full rights for all three religions. This theme of a homeland for both peoples, together with a just peace consistently appeared in his homilies and speeches during the five-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. (…)

* Freedom of religion and interreligious dialogue in Jordan
Upon arrival at Amman airport, the Holy Father praised the role played by King Abdullah II in promoting a better understanding of the virtues proclaimed by Islam.  He said that Jordan’s Catholic community has the opportunity to build places of public worship is a sign of respect for the country’s religion. The Pope expressed hope that this may serve as an example to all parts of the world. (…)

Portrait of the new Latin University of Madaba
On May 9, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI blessed the foundation stone of the new Latin Patriarchal University of Madaba, the center of scientific and academic innovation, the latest and most modern in the region. (…)

Other official statements
In this section are the everyday official discourses addressed to the Holy Father by several important personalities. (…)

Speech of the Franciscan Minister General on Mount Nebo

* Official speeches of the Patriarch
All official statements addressed by Patriarch Fouad Twal to Pope Benedict XVI, available in several languages. (…)

Poster of the Pope’s visit

Jordan: a crucial step in the Holy Land
“In recent history, Jordan was host to three Popes: Paul VI visited the country in 1964, John Paul II in 2000 and now Benedict XVI.  All began their apostolic pilgrimages in Jordan, not a transit country but a holy destination, because the Christian community is very much alive. ” (…)
Interview with Patriarch Twal on the Pope’s pilgrimage
Three weeks before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI to the Holy Land, Patriarch Fouad Twal speaks about the reasons and issues of this pilgrimage. In a straightforward style of its own, it is the genesis of the project, the concerns expressed by a number of Christians in the Holy Land and the challenges of the journey of the Holy Father. It explains why we should rejoice in this pilgrimage and what we can expect. It requires above all that Christians of the Holy Land and the world pray that this historic event bear abundant fruit, even unexpected, for the region.  (…)

Biography of Pope Benedict XVI

Apostolic Journey of Pope Benedict XVI to Cyprus
Main articles and exclusive photos of the apostolic visit to Cyprus (June 4-6, 2010)