Pope Benedict XVI made the first visit of his pontificate to the Holy Land in May 2009. Sticking to a busy schedule, the Holy Father visited Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories. His pilgrimage echoed that of Pope John Paul II in 2000 - the last papal visit to the region. The visit started in Jordan where, among other things, he visited Moses' memorial at Mount Nebo before meeting with Muslim religious leaders in front of the mosque al-Hussein bin Talal in Amman. The next stop was Israel where the Holy Father visited the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem - Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Other highlights included meeting with organisations involved in interreligious dialogue, visiting the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem at the Mount of the Temple and greeting the two Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem at Hechal Shlomo Center. Pope Benedict celebrated Mass in the Valley of Josaphat in Jerusalem before moving on to Bethlehem where Mass was celebrated on the Manger's Square. Arriving in the Palestinean Territories, he was welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the Al Aida' refugee camp. Pope Benedict is the third Pope to visit Bethlehem after Pope John Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.
Pope Benedict XVI met with organisations promoting interreligious dialogue at the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem. This is his address. Dear Brother Bishop...Read more
The Pope met with Muslim Religious Leaders, diplomats and university rectors at Amman's Mosque al-Hussein bin Talal in Jordan. This was the Holy Father's spe...Read more