Pope Francis began the second day of his visit to the Holy Land and third and final day of his Middle East trip on Monday morning. Major city streets in Jerusalem will be intermittently closed throughout the day as the pope tours the city.
The pope, who began his journey on Saturday in Jordan, arrived Sunday in in the West City of Bethlehem where he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, attended Mass at the Church of the Nativity and made a surprise stop at the West Bank separation barrier. Later in the day, he landed Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport where he was greeted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Peres.
The Pope began his day in Jerusalem with a visit to the Temple Mount, after which he visited the Western Wall. Pope Francis is then scheduled to lay a wreath at Mount Herzl and Visit Yad Vashem. He will meet with Peres and then with Netanyahu. He will conclude his day in Jerusalem with visits to various Christian sites including the Church of Gethsemane and High Mass in the Room of the Cenacle.
8:15 A.M. Pope Francis urges non-violence in a meeting with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein.
“Dear friends, from this holy place I make a heartfelt plea to all people and to all communities who look to Abraham,” he says during his visit. “May no one abuse the name of God through violence.”
8:30 A.M. The pope enters the Dome of the Rock, the iconic shrine located at the third-holiest spot in Islam.
Pope Francis stands in front of the Dome of the Rock during his visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 26, 2014. (Reuters)
9:10 A.M. Pope Francis prays at the Western Wall. He places his hand on the ancient stones and puts a note to God between the cracks.