IN JERUSALEM IN GETHSEMANE:
On the second day of his visit to Israel (Tuesday, 12 May), Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the Holy Mass in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Kidron Valley to an audience of several thousand faithful, including Catholics from the Holy Land and pilgrims and tourists from around the world.
Gethsemane, located at the foot of the Mount of Olives and beneath the city’s 400 year old walls, is known as the place where Jesus and his disciples prayed the night before his crucifixion.
Speaking from a vast stage specially erected for the Holy Mass, the Pontiff pursued his theme of seeking peace in the Holy Land: “Jerusalem…
In his address, Pope Benedict urged the local Christian community, which has dwindled over recent years due to relatively high emigration and low birth rates, to strengthen its presence in the Holy Land: “Today I wish to repeat what I have said on other occasions: In the Holy Land there is room for everyone!"
At the conclusion of the moving ceremony, the atmosphere transformed as the crowd burst into applause, waving flags and chanting, in unison, “Benedetto, Benedetto, ” to the apparent delight of the Pontiff who smiled as he left the area.