Pope Benedict XVI : "I rejoice to have come to Nazareth.
All of us need...to return to Nazareth"
They waited for hours, in their tens of thousands. The faithful from the Holy Land, members of the Christian community in the Galilee, Jerusalem and beyond, pilgrims and tourists from around the world. For many of the more than forty thousand gathered at the purpose-built amphitheater on Mount Precipice, where tradition has it an angry mob attempted to throw Jesus off the cliff, this was the highlight of Pope Benedict XVI's pilgrimage to Israel – the Holy Mass celebrated in Nazareth, the home town of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
As throughout his visit, the faithful chanted during the long wait for the Pope's arrival: "Benedetto! Benvenuto!"
Just prior to the celebration of the Holy Mass, the Pontiff delivered an address, noting the importance of Nazareth for Christian pilgrims: "I rejoice to have come to Nazareth, the place blessed by the mystery of the Annunciation ... This stage of my pilgrimage, I am confident, will draw the whole Church’s attention to this town of Nazareth. All of us need...to return to Nazareth." These words, which were also read in Hebrew by the Vatican Custodian of the Holy Land Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa for the assembled crowd, were greeted with warm applause.
The Pope also referred to the spectacular amphitheater that was specially built into the hillside of Mount Precipice – a site that will serve the city in particular and the North in general as a venue to host other large cultural and religious events. "In a special way I wish to thank all those who have helped to make this celebration possible, particularly those involved in the planning and construction of this new theatre with its splendid panorama of the city."
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All details regarding Pope Benedict XVI's pilgrimage to the holy land: http://www.holyland-