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In the Footsteps of Peter, Remembering John Paul II

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Mass at the Holy Sepulchre in front of the edicule of the Resurrection, the torchlight procession in Nazareth at the sanctuary holding the grotto of Mary’s “yes,” and many other stops in the footsteps of Christ... all lived with a particular intention: to celebrate the first anniversary of the beatification of John Paul II, the Pope who so loved the Holy Land, which he visited in 2000.

The special pilgrimage of 600 Poles concluded in the Galilee, accompanied by the archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the man who was at the side of Karol Wojtyla for 40 years as private secretary.

H. Eminence Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz
Archbishop of Krakow
For us, the beatification of John Paul II was a great gift from God and the Church, that is, a gift from Benedict XVI. And when we receive a gift, we must give thanks. We gave thanks in Poland, but also here because John Paul II was very close to this land.

The Sanctuary of the Primacy is the place which tradition identifies with one of the appearances of the risen one, and with the touching dialogue in which Jesus asked Peter three times "do you love me?" The cardinal recalled the visit of John Paul II in this holy place.

H. Eminence Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz
Archbishop of Krakow
He also came here as Archbishop of Krakow during the Council, but certainly to come here as the successor of Peter was something that he experienced deeply. He would not talk to anyone, he just wanted to talk to the Lord. And perhaps he replied "you know that I love you." He held onto this stone to kiss it... and he probably had a particular spiritual encounter with the Lord...

Right here in the wide open space adjacent to the Church of the Primacy was held the concluding Mass of the pilgrimage, after which the cardinal "gave to the Holy Land," as it were, a very special gift: a relic of John Paul II, delivered in the hands of the Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land, Father Artemio Vitores, who in turn gave to the archbishop of Krakow, among other things, a piece of rock of Golgotha.

Then, everyone stood by a speaker to be in communion with the current Successor of Peter, Benedict XVI, who greeted the Polish pilgrims in the Holy Land from Rome during the Regina Coeli.

H. Eminence Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz
Archbishop of Krakow
We came here to give thanks, but also to deepen our faith and our devotion to Jesus Christ and to the Church. And here, without reading, we encounter the Lord. I also pray the breviary every day and read the Bible... but it's different when you read and pray here, because you feel close to Jesus Christ and to the whole story of redemption.


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Events calendar


Diocese of Jerusalem: Feast of St. James, Apostle


VI Sun. of Easter. Holy Sepulchre: 15.30 Procession & I Vespers 00.30 Vigil


Invention of the Holy Cross at the Holy Sepulchre: 9.30 Solemn Mass & Procession with the Relics (Custos)


Ascension of the Lord. Ascension: 16.00 Entrance (Vicar CTS) – 16.30 I Vespers – 18.30 Compline – 23.00 Vigil


Ascension: 8.00 Mass in Arabic – 9.30 Solemn Mass

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