Vatican City, 27 March 2014 (VIS) – Today the programme of the Holy Father's pilgrimage to the Holy Land was published. The trip, which will take place from 24 to 26 May, will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem.
The Pope will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 8.15 a.m. and is schedule to arrive in Amman, Jordan at 1.15 p.m. Following the welcome ceremony at Queen Alia International Airport, he will proceed to the al-Husseini Royal Palace in Amman, where he will be received by King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, and will speak before the authorities of the kingdom of Jordan. At 4.00 p.m. Mass will be celebrated at the International Stadium in Amman, and later in the same afternoon he will meet with refugees and young disabled people in the Latin Church.
On Sunday, 25 May, the Pope will leave Jordan by helicopter at 8.15 a.m., destined for Bethlehem. In the presidential palace, after a courtesy visit to the president of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, he will address the Palestinian authorities. At 11 a.m. he will celebrate Mass and pray the Angelus in Manger Square in Bethlehem. The Holy Father will lunch with a number of Palestinian families in the Franciscan convent of Casa Nova and at 3 p.m. he will make a private visit to the Grotto of the Nativity. He will then greet the children in the refugee camps of Deheisheh, Aida and Beit Jibrin and, at 3.45 p.m., will leave the State of Palestine to travel by helicopter to the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, where his arrival is scheduled for 4.30 p.m. Following the welcome ceremony he will proceed, again by helicopter, to Jerusalem, where at 6.15 p.m. he will meet privately with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople at the apostolic delegation in Jerusalem, for the signing of a joint declaration. At 7 p.m. in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre an ecumenical meeting will take place, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, after which Pope Francis will dine with the patriarchs, bishops and the papal suite at the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem.
On Monday, 26 May at 8.15 a.m. the Holy Father will visit the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the building of the Great Council on the Esplanade of the Mosques, and will give an address. He will subsequently visit the Western Wall, after which he will lay a wreath at Mount Herzl. At 10 a.m. he will visit the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem, where he will speak, and at 10.45., he will make a courtesy visit to the two Chief Rabbis at the Heichal Shlomo Centre, next to the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. At 11.45 he will proceed to the presidential palace where he will be received by the president of the State of Israel, Simon Peres. At 1 p.m., in the Notre Dame Centre, he will hold a private audience with the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. At 3.30 p.m. he will meet privately with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew 1, near the Viri Galileai Orthodox Church on the Mount of Olives. At 4 p.m., in the Church of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives, he will address priests, men and women religious and seminarians. At 5.20 p.m. he will celebrate Mass with the Ordinaries of the Holy Land and the Papal suite in the room of the Cenacle in Jerusalem. At 7.30 p.m. he will transfer by helicopter from the Mount Scopus heliport to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, where he will bid farewell to the State of Israel. The papal aeroplane will depart at 8.15 p.m. for Rome's Ciampino airport, where it is scheduled to land at approximately 11 p.m.