April 16, 2009.
Benedict XVI will soon be making his first trip to the Holy Land.
In preparation, the Jordan Tourism Board and the Israeli Ministry of Tourism have launched websites dedicated to the Pope’s pilgrimage.
With the information provided on the sites, pilgrims can follow Benedict’s itinerary, find out more about the holy sites in each country and even link up with travel agents for planning their own pilgrimages.
The Israeli website, www.holyland-pilgrimage.org, is available in 7 languages and features a detailed look at the Holy Father’s schedule while in Israel.
But the Pope’s first stop will be Jordan. Visitors to that site, www.visitjordan.com, will be able to follow the Pope’s visit through a live broadcast. The site is available in 6 languages and offers all kinds of useful information, including a list of the Pope’s destinations while in Jordan.
Benedict is expected to visit Jordan’s largest mosque in Amman. And in Israel, he will stop in Nazareth and Jerusalem.
Many are hoping the trip will ease relations between the Roman Catholic Church and Jews and Muslims, relations which were strained by the Israeli invasion of Gaza earlier this year and by the controversy surrounding Bishop Williamson, a Holocaust denier.
Benedict’s trip, which also includes a visit to Bethlehem in the Palestinian Territories, will go from May 8th to May 15th.