May 6, 2009
. Benedict XVI set the tone for his upcoming trip to the Holy Land with a message for the people of Jordan, Israel and Palestine.
I am eagerly looking forward to being with you and to sharing with you your aspirations and hopes as well as your pains and struggles.
The Pope said he is going to the Holy Land to pray for peace and unity for countries in the Middle East as well as peace between Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Besides visiting places of Jesus’ life, Benedict will meet with political leaders from Jordan, Israel and Palestine as well as with religious representatives.
May we all be steadfast in our desire and efforts for peace.
The Pope will leave Rome on Friday. His tour of the Middle East will start in Jordan, where he will meet with King Abdullah and Rania and visit the country’s largest mosque in Amman.
In Jerusalem he will visit the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, one of the sacred landmarks of Islam.
Meanwhile, Bethlehem is finishing preparations in the plaza where the Pope will celebrate a mass in Palestinian territory. An estimated 5,000 people are expected to attend.