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New Custodian of the Holy Land

May 20, 2016. Friar Francesco Patton is the new Custodian of the Holy Land. He succeeds Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who was in office for the last 12 years. Friar Francesco Patton is 52 years old from Vigo Meano (Italy). He graduated in Communication Sciences from the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome and until now was the provincial minister of the Order of Friars Minor in Saint Vigilius of Trent.

Vatican releases Pope's schedule for May visit to the Holy Land

2014-03-27

On May 24, Pope Francis will arrive to Amman, Jordan. King Abdullah and Queen Rania will welcome him at the Royal Palace to kick start his visit to the Holy Land.

That evening, the Pope will celebrate Mass at a stadium, and will meet with refugees and young people with disabilities at the site of the Baptism of Jesus.

The next day, on the 25th, the Pope will travel by helicopter to Bethlehem. Once there, he will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He will also preside a Mass at Manger Square, and have lunch with Palestinian families.

After lunch, he will visit privately the Grotto of the Nativity, and greet children from Palestinian refugee camps. At 4PM, he will board his helicopter for Tel Aviv for a welcome ceremony, and then head out to Jerusalem.

In the historic city, the Pope will meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople at the Basilica of Holy Sepulcher. The visit will mark the historic embrace between the Catholic and Orthodox leaders, which took place 1964.

On May 26, the Pope will visit the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem at the Esplanade of the Mosques. He will then visit the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum. He will also meet with the two Chief Rabbis of Israel, with President Shimon Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In the evening, the Pope will meet with priests, and religious men and women at the Church of Gethsemane. He will preside Mass at the Cenacle, the place where, according to tradition, the Last Supper took place.

At 8PM, Pope Francis will fly back to Rome. He's expected to land at 11 o'clock that night.


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