The Holy Land is preparing for the apostolic journey of Pope Francis next May 24-26. The three-day visit will include events in Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
The Holy Sites in the region are under the care
of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, the province of the
Franciscan Order which has been entrusted for centuries with the task.
In many ways, this trip to the Holy Land is another Franciscan aspect of
“The Holy Land was the mission preferred by Saint
Francis – it was ever on his mind – and is therefore the first and
principle mission of the Franciscan Order, and it is entirely fitting
therefore in the logic of things that the Holy Father will follow his
visit to Assisi by the visit to the Holy Land,” said Father David-Maria,
“It is also connected to the core message of the
Holy Father, namely a return to the Gospel, which was the message of
Francis,” he told Vatican Radio. “[Saint Francis of Assisi] did not
establish any kind of new ideology or religious school, the rule that he
dictated to his followers was quite simply to follow the Gospel of Our
Lord Jesus Christ.”
Father Jaeger said this is also the message of Pope Francis.
Francis “is telling us to testify to the world, not through what he
calls a disjointed multitude of doctrines, but through the one Gospel of
Jesus Christ,” he said. “And the Holy Land is the first living witness
to that, in a sense, through the genuineness, through the concreteness,
through the historicity of the Gospel, in every sense of the word