Pope Francis Announces Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

The following is the original announcement made by the Pope Francis on the 5th of January 2014 concerning his visit to the Holy Land (Israel, the West Bank and Jordan) and the purpose of his visit:

* The announcement was made after the recitation of the Sunday Angelus to the crowds of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.  

"In the climate of joy, typical of this Christmas season, I wish to announce that from 24 to 26 May next, God willing, I will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The main purpose of this pilgrimage of prayer is tocommemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, which took place on 5 January, exactly 50 years ago today. The stages will be three: Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Three days. At the Holy Sepulcher we will celebrate an Ecumenical Meeting with all representatives of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem, together with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. I ask you now to pray for this pilgrimage, which will be a pilgrimage of prayer. "