The Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, Faoud Twal, says Pope Francis’ trip to the Holy Land in May will center on the unity of Christians. The schedule for the trip has now been released…
When Pope Francis visits the Holy Land in May, he will meet with the leaders of the three nations he will visit, but the trip will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, and it is for that reason the theme of the trip is: “May they be one.”
Church officials in late March released the Pope’s official schedule for the May 24-26 visit, confirming Pope Francis will meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on May 25 in Jerusalem to sign a joint declaration.
“We are called to be one, and the Pope is coming to remind us of this and renew the spirit of unity and fraternal love,” Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem told a news conference on March 27. “The logo and the motto that have been chosen for this pilgrimage focus in on this desire for unity.” The official logo of the pilgrimage depicts the embrace of Sts. Peter and Andrew, patrons of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the patriarch added.
Pope Francis has requested modest ceremonies throughout the visit, Twal said. (Times listed are local, with Eastern Daylight Time in parenthesis.)
Saturday, May 24 (Rome, Amman)
— 8:15 a.m. (2:15 a.m.) Departure, Rome Fiumicino Airport for Amman.
— 1 p.m. (6 a.m.) Arrival, Amman.
— 1:45 p.m. (6:45 a.m.) Arrival ceremony, al-Husseini Royal Palace in Amman. Courtesy visit to the king and queen of Jordan.
— 2:20 p.m. (7:20 a.m.) Meeting, authorities of Jordan. Speech by the Pope.
— 4 p.m. (9 a.m.) Mass, Amman International Stadium. Homily by the Pope.
— 7 p.m. (12 noon) Visit to Jesus’ baptismal site, Bethany.
— 7:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m.) Meeting, refugees and disabled young people, Latin church in Bethany. Speech by Pope.
Sunday, May 25 (Amman, Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem)
— 8:15 a.m. (1:15 a.m.) Farewell at airport. Departure by helicopter for Bethlehem.
— 9:20 a.m. (2:20 a.m.) Reach Bethlehem.
— 9:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m.) Arrival ceremony at the presidential palace in Bethlehem.
— 10 a.m. (3 a.m.) Meeting with the Palestinian Authority. Speech by the Pope.
— 11 a.m. (4 a.m.) Mass in Manger Square in Bethlehem. Homily by the Pope.
— 1:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m.) Lunch with families from Palestine in the Franciscan convent of Casa Nova in Bethlehem.
— 3 p.m. (8 a.m.) Private visit to the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
— 3:20 p.m. (8:20 a.m.) Greeting of children from the refugee camps of Dehiyshe, Aida and Beit Jibrin at the Phoenix Center of the Dehiyshe Refugee Camp.
— 3:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m.) Farewell.
— 4 p.m. (9 a.m.) Departure by helicopter for Tel Aviv.
— 4:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m.) Arrival, Tel Aviv. Speech by the Pope.
— 5:15 p.m. (10:15 a.m.) Transfer by helicopter to Jerusalem.
— 5:45 p.m. (10:45 a.m.) Arrival, Jerusalem.
— 6:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m.) Private meeting with Patriarch of Constantinople at apostolic delegation in Jerusalem. Sign joint declaration.
— 7 p.m. (12 noon) Ecumenical meeting, Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Speech by the Pope.
— 8:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.) Dinner, Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem.
Monday, May 26 (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rome)
— 8:15 a.m. (1:15 a.m.) Visit to grand mufti of Jerusalem. Speech by the Pope.
— 9:10 a.m. (2:10 a.m.) Western Wall in Jerusalem.
— 9:45 a.m. (2:45 a.m.) Laying a wreath at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
— 10 a.m. (3 a.m.) Yad Vashem.
— 10:45 a.m. (3:45 a.m.) Courtesy visit to the two chief rabbis at Heichal Shlomo center in Jerusalem. Speech by the Pope.
— 11:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m.) Courtesy visit to the president of Israel. Speech by the Pope.
— 1 p.m. (6 a.m.) Private audience, prime minister of Israel, Notre Dame Center.
— 1:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m.) Lunch, papal delegation, Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem.
— 3:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m.) Private visit, ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, building next to the Orthodox Church of Viri Galilaei, Mount of Olives.
— 4 p.m. (9 a.m.) Meeting with priests, men and women religious and seminarians in the Church of All Nations at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Speech by the Pope.
— 5:20 p.m. (10:20 a.m.) Mass with the ordinaries of the Holy Land and the papal delegation in the Cenacle in Jerusalem. Homily by the Pope.
— 7:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m.) Transfer by helicopter from Mount Scopus in Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
— 8 p.m. (1 p.m.) Farewell at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
— 8:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.) Departure from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv for Ciampino Airport in Rome.
— 11 p.m. (5 p.m.) Arrival at Ciampino Airport in Rome.