UPDATE #2: To say that I've done things I've never done before would be an understatement.
In the Holy Land, blogger Marge Fenelon walks in the footsteps of Jesus.
Just days before Pope Francis is scheduled to leave for a much-anticipated trip to the Holy Land, the pontiff announced that his trip to Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel would be "strictly religious."
At the end of his general audience May 21, Pope Francis asked for prayers for his upcoming trip to the Holy Land and reminded the 50,000 gathered at St. Peter's Square that the May 24-26 visit is scheduled for two primary reasons: to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras with his own meeting with current Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and "to pray for peace in that land that suffers so much."
"Peter and Andrew will meet once again, and this is very beautiful," Pope Francis said.
The trip, from its earliest days, was called a "pilgrimage of prayer" by Pope Francis.
OSV Newsweekly will have complete coverage of the pilgrimage, including news coverage and a photo spread in our June 8 issue. Marge Fenelon arrived in the Holy Land May 21 and will be blogging right here on OSV Daily Take several times during the pope's visit. Check the blog often for updates, and be sure to follow Marge on Twitter
and on her personal blog
, as well as OSV Daily Take
Below is Pope Francis' complete schedule while in the Holy Land:
Saturday, May 24
8:15 a.m. Departure from Rome Fiumicino Airport for Amman
1 p.m. Arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman
1:45 p.m. ARRIVAL CEREMONY in the al-Husseini Royal Palace in Amman; Courtesy visit to King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan.
2:20 p.m. MEETING WITH THE AUTHORITIES OF THE KINGDOM OF JORDAN. Discourse of the Holy Father
4 p.m. HOLY MASS at the International Stadium in Amman. Homily of the Holy Father
7 p.m. Visit to the Baptismal Site at Bethany beyond the Jordan
7:15 p.m. MEETING WITH REFUGEES AND DISABLED YOUNG PEOPLE in the Latin church at Bethany beyond the Jordan. Discourse of the Holy Father
Sunday, May 25
8:15 a.m. FAREWELL FROM JORDAN at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman
8:30 a.m. Departure by helicopter from the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman for Bethlehem
9:20 a.m. Arrival at the helicopter port of Bethlehem
9:30 a.m. ARRIVAL CEREMONY at the presidential Palace in Bethlehem; Courtesy visit to president of the Palestinian territories, Mahmoud Abbas
10 a.m. MEETING WITH THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY – Discourse of the Holy Father
11 a.m. HOLY MASS in Manger Square in Bethlehem. Homily of the Holy Father
REGINA COELI PRAYER. Allocution of the Holy Father
1:30 p.m. Lunch with families from Palestine in the Franciscan convent of Casa Nova in Bethlehem
3 p.m. PRIVATE VISIT TO THE GROTTO OF THE NATIVITY IN BETHLEHEM
3:20 p.m. GREETING OF CHILDREN FROM THE REFUGEE CAMPS OF DEHEISHEH, AIDA AND BEIT JIBRIN at the Phoenix Center of the Deheisheh Refugee Camp
3:45 p.m. FAREWELL FROM THE STATE OF PALESTINE at the helicopter port of Bethlehem
4 p.m. Departure by helicopter from the helicopter port of Bethlehem for Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv
4:30 p.m. ARRIVAL CEREMONY at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. Discourse of the Holy Father
5:15 p.m. Transfer by helicopter to Jerusalem
5:45 p.m. Arrival at the helicopter port of Jerusalem on Mount Scopus
6:15 p.m. Private meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople at the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem. Signing of a joint declaration.
7 p.m. ECUMENICAL MEETING on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. Discourse of the Holy Father
8:15 p.m. Dinner with the Patriarchs and Bishops and the Papal suite at the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem
Monday, May 26
8:15 a.m. VISIT TO THE GRAND MUFTI OF JERUSALEM in the building of the Great Council on the Esplanade of the Mosques. Discourse of the Holy Father
9:10 a.m. VISIT TO THE WESTERN WALL in Jerusalem
9:45 a.m. Laying a wreath at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem
10 a.m. VISIT TO YAD VASHEM in Jerusalem. Discourse of the Holy Father
10:45 a.m. COURTESY VISIT TO THE TWO CHIEF RABBIS at Heichal Shlomo Center in Jerusalem, next to the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. Discourse of the Holy Father
11:45 a.m. COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem. Discourse of the Holy Father
1 p.m. PRIVATE AUDIENCE WITH THE PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL at Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem
1:30 p.m. Lunch with the Papal suite at Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem
3:30 p.m. Private visit to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople at the building next to the Orthodox church of Viri Galileai on the Mount of Olives
4 p.m. MEETING WITH PRIESTS, MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS AND SEMINARIANS in the church of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Discourse of the Holy Father
5:20 p.m. HOLY MASS WITH THE ORDINARIES OF THE HOLY LAND AND THE PAPAL SUITE in the room of the Cenacle in Jerusalem. Homily of the Holy Father
7:30 p.m. Transfer by helicopter from the helicopter port on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv
8 p.m. FAREWELL FROM THE STATE OF ISRAEL at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv
8:15 p.m. Departure from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv for Ciampino Airport in Rome
11 p.m. Arrival at Ciampino Airport in Rome
Gretchen R. Crowe is editor of OSV Newsweekly. Follow her on Twitter @GretchenOSV.