Saturday, May 2, 2009

Custody of the Holy Land: "The Cedron Valley - site of Benedict's May 12th Mass in Jerusalem"

The Cedron Valley: the site of the mass in Jerusalem on 12th May - an introduction from the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land:
There are many churches in Jerusalem, but none would be large enough to hold the crowd wishing to attend the Mass of a Pope on his pilgrimage. ...

The largest Catholic church is the Church of all Nations, or of Gethsemane and holds 800 people, but that was still not large enough and so it was decided to hold the celebration in the open. The Franciscans offered a part of the land they acquired in 1666, which at the time was probably a single piece of land together with the Garden of the Olives. It was only later that history separated the two plots of land.

The Mass will thus be celebrated on the piece of land beneath the Garden of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane before an estimated crowd of some 5000 people.

Of the three sites chosen for Benedict XVI’s Masses, this is the one that offers the opportunity to follow in the steps of Christ. [More]

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