Pope Francis will arrive in Israel on Sunday on a visit of “peace, faith and tolerance,” which he said would pay tribute to President Shimon Peres as his term in office draws to a close.
Pope Francis is expected to arrive in Israel on Sunday – Photo: AFP
Upon arriving on Sunday, the pope will travel to Bethlehem to conduct a Mass. The city is preparing for the visit by cleaning the streets and removing hazards, and have lined them with Vatican City flags alongside Palestinian flags. Palestinian Authority security services are also heightening security for the visit.
After the visit to Bethlehem, a reception will be held in the pope’s honor in Jerusalem. On Sunday evening, he will meet with representatives of Christian communities at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, and later with the Latin patriarch.
On Monday, Pope Francis will tour the Temple Mount and meet with the Jerusalem Grand Mufti Muhammad Ahmad Hussein. He will then visit Mount Herzl, place a wreath at Theodor Herzl’s grave, and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum.
Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, and Yad Vashem Council head Rabbi Israel Meir Lau will join the pope on his visit to the Holocaust museum. Afterward, the pope will visit Heichal Shlomo, where he will meet with the chief rabbis of Israel.
The main event of the pope’s visit to Israel will be a reception at the President’s Residence, where he will be greeted by Jewish, Christian and Muslim children. Following the reception, the pope will meet with Peres and then join 500 children in the garden of the President’s Residence for a special prayer and song service dedicated to unity.
After the prayer service, the pope will meet with Netanyahu at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, visit a small monastery in the Galilee and participate in an event at the Church of All Nations on the Mount of Olives.
Pope Francis will conclude his visit with a Mass in the room where the Last Supper is believed to have taken place, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=17615