HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE OF POPE FRANCIS24-26 MAY 2014

“So that they may be one”

The motto for the pilgrimage is “So that they may be one”. The Holy Father has insisted that at the center of his pilgrimage will be the meeting with Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the heads of the Churches in Jerusalem. This is to commemorate and renew the commitment to unity expressed by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople 50 years ago in Jerusalem.

This gives expression to the desire of the Lord at the Last Supper: “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23). 

The logo also expresses this desire for unity, representing the embrace of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew, the first two disciples called by Jesus in Galilee. Saint Peter is the patron of the Church in Rome and Saint Andrew is the patron of the Church in Constantinople. In Jerusalem, in the Mother Church, they embrace. The two apostles are in a boat that represents the Church, whose mast is the Cross of the Lord. The sails of the boat are full of wind, the Holy Spirit, which directs the boat as it sails across the waters of this world.

The unity of Christians is a message of unity for all humanity, called to overcome the divisions of the past and march forward together towards a future of justice, peace, reconciliation, pardon and fraternal love.

Text from the official website on " Pope Francis in the Holy Land 2014" by the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land.

Click here for the full program of the Pope's Holy Land journey.