Pope Francis’ Pilgrimage to the Holy Land


Mass this Saturday morning (at 10.00am) is offered for the Lord’s blessing on the Pope’s Visit to the Holy Land this weekend. After Mass there will be the rosary and special prayers recommended by the Bishop’s of England and Wales.

Pope Francis said this week, that the first reason for going to the Holy Land, “is to meet my brother, Bartholomew,” the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, to mark the 50th anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople. The meeting launched a new era of ecumenical cooperation and dialogue.

“Peter and Andrew will meet once again, and this is very beautiful,” the pope said. Pope Francis is the successor of the apostle Peter and Patriarch Bartholomew the successor of his brother, the apostle Andrew.

The pope said the second reason for his trip is “to pray for peace in that land that suffers so much”. He asked all Catholics to pray for the success of the trip.

Here is a message from the Custus of the Holy Land. The Custus (Custodian) is the head of the Franciscan Order in the Holy Land who have custody and care of many of the Christian shrines:

What is the significance of the Patriarch of Constantinople?

Because of its historical location as the capital of the former Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and its role as the Mother Church of most Orthodox churches, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has enjoyed the status of “first among equals” among the world’s Eastern Orthodox prelates. Unlike the Pope, he does not exercise control over the individual national churches, which are fully autonomous. He is, however, widely regarded as the representative and spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians.

The historic visit of  Pope Paul VI in 1964: