Pope Francis in the Holy Land
24-26 May 2014

On Friday 23 May, Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem, left Beirut bound for the Jordanian capital, Amman, in readiness to welcome, with other Eastern patriarchs, Pope Francis, who is making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land (24 - 26 May).

The Holy Father’s pilgrimage, coming fifty years after that of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, is “fraught with expectation and hope,” according to Gregorios III.

Expectation and hope for every one of the region’s countries beset by internal and regional conflicts, in the eye of a tornado of wars and violence, stemming from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has given rise to all the others and remains a continuing source of instability and liability in the region.

 

Expectation and hope for the return of peace to Syria, which is and will remain central to the Holy Father’s prayer, whose considerable power was evidenced last 7 September.

Expectation and hope for Church unity: from 1964 to 2014 great advances have been made whose origins can be traced back to the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras.

Let us pray with Pope Francis throughout his pilgrimage to the Holy Land for violence and weapons to yield to dialogue and the beginning of a peaceful solution. And with Pope Francis let us say, “Let us never lose the courage of prayer.”

“Fifty years on, we are placing all our expectation and hope on this joint pilgrimage of Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. With all the Eastern Catholic Patriarchs gathering in Amman around the Holy Father, we shall make a request for there be just one date for Pascha, and that Pope Francis fix Easter day to a Sunday in the latter half of April. “

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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Go and have pity on all, for through pity, one finds freedom of speech before God. 

Abba Pambo