Meeting with worshippers in The Vatican, Pope Francis referred to his upcoming visit to Israel. “This coming Saturday I will be flying to the Holy Land, the land of Jesus. This is to be solely a religious visit”, he emphasized. “One of my missions is to pray for peace in this land, which has endured such great suffering.”

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Pope Francis spoke today (Wednesday) with worshippers, regarding the objective of his upcoming trip to the Middle East. As part of his weekly meeting with the wide gathering- the leader of the Catholic Church outlined the objectives of his trip, which was purely religious- including a meeting with the leader of the Orthodox Church and prayer for the sake of peace. 

“This coming Saturday, I will be flying to the Holy Land, the land of Jesus. This trip is meant for religious purposes only”, emphasized the 226th Pope. “Primarily the trip is meant for me to visit my brother, Bartholomew the First (leader of the Orthodox Church). Together we will commemorate 50 years to the meeting of Pope Paul IV and Ecumenical Patriarch Atengora.” This is a recreation of the meeting that occurred between the leaders of the two churches 50 years ago.

 “The second reason for the visit is to pray for the wellbeing of this land which has endured such suffering. I ask you to pray for this visit”, said Francis to the worshippers. The floods that have ravaged the Balkan region were also the subject of the Pope’s speech “My thoughts are with the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, who have endured the plague of these floods”.

Recently, Italian media has emphasized the anger of Christians in Jerusalem as to the limitations imposed on them due to security concerns- anger that has been directed at the Israeli authorities.