His Holiness, Pope Francis will pay a two-day official visit and pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the Holy Land, from May 25 to 26, 2014 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the visit of Pope Paul VI to Israel in 1964.
A statement by the Embassy of Israel in Abuja on Friday recalled that Pope Francis had personally announced his planned visit to the Holy Land on January 5 this year in Rome.
While in Israel, the Pope will pay courtesy visits to the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem and have private audience with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. He will together with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople celebrate an Ecumenical Meeting with representatives of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem.
The Pope will also visit many of the most sacred sites and meaningful landmarks in and around the Holy City of Jerusalem including, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Via Dolorosa, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion and the Cenacle, the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame Center, Yad Vashem, Mount Herzl, Heichal Shlomo and the Western Wall.
The Ambassador of the State of Israel to Nigeria, Mr. Uriel Palti described the Pope's visit as historic and very important to the government and people of Israel. Pope Francis is the fourth Pope to visit Israel since her independence in 1948.
Diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the State of Israel were established in 1993 after the adoption of the Fundamental Accord by the two States on 30 December 1993. Thereafter a Vatican Nunciature in Israel and an Israeli Embassy in Rome were established on 19 January 1994.
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Embassy of Israel