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Pope recalls pilgrimage to Holy Land

May 28, 2014

Departing from his weekly catechesis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis devoted his May 28 general audience to his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The trip, he said, had three purposes. The “principal purpose” was “to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting of Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras … a milestone along the path to Christian unity.” Thus, he said, his visit culminated in his meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, in which they renewed their commitment to pursue full communion. The Pope then asked forgiveness for “what we have done to foster this division.”

The trip’s second purpose, the Pope said, was to encourage those who work for peace and to encourage Christians to be docile to the Holy Spirit and increasingly “capable of gestures of humility, fraternity, and reconciliation.”

The third purpose was to confirm the faith of the Christian community, “which suffers so much,” and to express the Church’s gratitude for the continued presence of Christians in the Middle East. The Pontiff concluded by turning in prayer to Mary, “Queen of peace, Queen of Christian unity, Mother of all Christians.”


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