Sunday, 8 March 2009

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has today formally announced that he will be on a pilgrimage in the Holy Land from May 8 to 15, 2009. Please keep this historic Apostolic Journey in your prayers.
We have been hearing about this for months, but despite the news floating around here and there and despite the preparations that were underway, the Vatican had not yet announced the exact dates. Today the Pope did so himself after the Angelus.
The fact that the announcement was made so late, exactly two months before the beginning of this important journey, proves that the decision was not an easy one.
Although the Holy Father referred to his journey as a pilgrimage, he will meet with Israeli and Palestinian authorities as the head of the Vatican. When he talks with them, he will talk about peace in the Middle East. When he talks with the Greek Orthodox and Armenian patriarchs with whom he is scheduled to meet according to the official program already in circulation, he will talk about unity.

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