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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Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Entry into Jerusalem

As we were buried with You through Baptism, O Christ our God, * we were made worthy of immortal life by Your Resurrection, * and we praise You in song, crying out: * “Hosanna in the highest! * Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.” (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

As you were carried upon a throne in heaven and upon a colt on earth, * O Christ God, you accepted the praise of angels and the songs of children who cry out to You: * “Blessed are You Who has come to to call back Adam!” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Monasticism itself is a perpetual labor of conquering passions and uprooting them in order that, being in a pure and immaculate state, one may preserve oneself before the face of God. This, then, is your task! Give your attention to it, and direct all your powers towards it.

St. Theophan the Recluse