Pope announces first visit to Holy Land
Pope Francis will visit the Holy Land for the first time in late May this year, according to Agence France-Presse Sunday.
"In the climate of joy typical of this Christmas period, I would like to announce that from May 24 to 26, God willing, I will carry out a pilgrimage to the Holy Land," Francis announced to crowds in St Peter's Square during the traditional Angelus prayer.
The head of the Catholic Church made the announcement of his trip on Jan. 5 to "commemorate the historic meeting between pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople 50 years ago," that led to the historic retraction of the excommunications of 1054 that led to the Great Schism between the East and West churches.
Francis plans to visit Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.