Holy Land

An external view of the Chapel of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem during the procession of the Franciscan friars after the first vespers of the Ascension solemnity on May 8, 2024. The procession circled the chapel three times. / Credit: Marinella Bandini

Catholics Ascend to Mount Olives, Site of Jesus’ Ascension, Only Day They Can Use Chapel Currently Under Muslim Control

May 9, 2024

“I’m excited to have come to pray in the actual place of the Ascension... I want to be closer to God and Jesus,” 14 year-old Joelle Sammour told CNA.

Pope Francis gives his urbi et orbi message and blessing from the central loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica on March 31, 2024. / Credit: Vatican Media

May the Risen Christ Open a Path of Peace in the Holy Land: Pope Francis in 2024 Easter Sunday Blessing

Mar 31, 2024

In his Easter Sunday blessing, Pope Francis asked the risen Lord to open paths of peace in the Holy Land, Ukraine, and all regions suffering from violence.

Students and teachers from Jerusalem Christian schools walk the Way of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. The yearly event was organized by the Custody of the Holy Land on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, on the occasion of Lent. / Credit: Marinella Bandini

In Letter to Holy Land Christians, Pope Francis Deplores the War, Expresses Closeness 

Mar 27, 2024

“Dear brothers and sisters, allow me to tell you once more that you are not alone. We will never leave you alone,” the pope wrote in his Holy Wednesday letter.

On Holy Wednesday, the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land venerated the column to which, according to tradition, Jesus was bound to be scourged. They prayed the “station” dedicated to the column during the daily procession that the Franciscans perform inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. At the end, they intoned the hymn “Columna nobilis” and then, one by one, they performed an act of veneration. March 27, 2024. | Credit: Marinella Bandini

Holy Wednesday in Jerusalem: Venerating the Pillar of Christ’s Flagellation

Mar 27, 2024

In Jerusalem on Holy Wednesday, the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land venerate the two stones that, according to the Gospel of Luke, were stained with the blood of Jesus during his passion.

Bishop Ildo Augusto dos Santos Lopes Fortes  of the Catholic Diocese of Mindelo in Cape Verde. Credit: Diocese of Mindelo

Cape Verdean Diocese Allocates 2024 Lenten Collection to Violence Victims in Holy Land

Feb 24, 2024

The Catholic Diocese of Mindelo in Cape Verde has announced that the 2024 Lenten collection will be channeled to Caritas Jerusalem to support victims of violence in the Holy Land.

Stephen Cardinal Brislin centre reading a statement following their eight-day January plenary session. Credit: SACBC Facebook page

Southern African Catholic Bishops Call for “total cessation of hostilities” in Holy Land

Feb 1, 2024

Members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) have concluded their eight-day January plenary session with a call for “total cessation of hostilities” in the Holy Land.

Pope Francis appears in the window of the Apostolic Palace to give his Sunday Angelus address on January 14, 2024. | Vatican Media

Pope Francis: "War itself is a crime against humanity"

Jan 14, 2024

Pope Francis made a strong appeal for peace on Sunday calling modern warfare “a crime against humanity” that sows death among civilians and destroys cities.

Pope Francis takes a figure of the Christ child in his arms at the end of the Vatican's Mass for the Nativity of the Lord on Dec. 24, 2023. | Vatican Media

Jesus was Born to Save the World: Pope Francis at Christmas Mass

Dec 24, 2023

In his Christmas homily, Pope Francis shared a message for anyone who may be feeling sad or discouraged with a reminder that the Lord was born to save the world and to give us a hope that is greater than all of our problems.

Papal almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski. | lvivadm via Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0).

Pope Francis Sends Papal Almoner to Holy Land for Christmas as a Sign of Solidarity

Dec 22, 2023

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who serves as the papal almoner, will spend Christmas in Jerusalem, where he will join the local Christian community in praying for peace.

Cristobal Cardinal Lòpez Romero during his presentation at the 19th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) in Accra, Ghana. Credit: ACI Africa

Cardinal in Morocco Dedicates Advent Week I to Prayers, Fasting for Peace in Holy Land

Nov 21, 2023

Catholic Parishes of the Archdiocese of Rabat in Morocco are to mark the first Week of Advent praying for peace in the Holy Land, the Local Ordinary has said.

Members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC). Credit: SACBC

Bishops in Southern Africa Dedicate Christ the King Solemnity to Prayers for Holy Land

Nov 18, 2023

Dioceses covered by the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) are to celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King that marks the conclusion of the Liturgical year by praying for peace in the Holy Land.

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, on Oct. 20, 2023. | Credit: Gianfranco Pinto Ostuni

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Mourns 18 Dead in Gaza Christian Church Bombing

Oct 23, 2023

“War and bombs have never solved problems; on the contrary, they always create new ones,” Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa said.

African Cardinal Directs Parishes to “hold in prayer” Victims of Israel-Palestine Violence

Oct 14, 2023

Stephen Cardinal Brislin of South Africa’s Cape Town Archdiocese has directed all Parishes in his Metropolitan See to pray for those affected by the Israel-Palestine violence that he says has created a “very troubling situation” in Holy Land.

A cross atop the seminary in Beit Jala, Palestine. | Aid to the Church in Need.

Vatican Calls for Peace in Holy Land, Offers to Mediate Between Hamas and Israel

Oct 13, 2023

Vatican’s secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin said any mediation would have to take into account "the issue of Israeli settlements, security, and the issue of the city of Jerusalem."

Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa blesses the congregation at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 4, 2021. | Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Catholic Patriarch Calls Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in the Holy Land

Oct 12, 2023

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa has urged Catholics to organize times of prayer with Eucharistic adoration and recitation of the rosary.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks on the red carpet at the premiere of the film "Route 60: The Biblical Highway" on Sept. 12, 2023. | Credit: Jonah McKeown/CNA

New Movie Explores Christian and Jewish Perspectives of the Holy Land’s History

Sep 15, 2023

Generally in “road trip” films, travelers on a ribbon of asphalt are taken on both a literal and figurative journey — sometimes one that leads them to a deeper connection with the transcendent and divine. 

Pope Francis greets the crowd at his Sunday Angelus address on Jan. 29, 2023. | Vatican Media

Pope Francis: The Devil Uses "three widespread and dangerous temptations" to Divide Us

Feb 26, 2023

On the first Sunday of Lent, Pope Francis warned of three “widespread and dangerous temptations” that the devil uses to separate us from God and divide us from each other.

Pope Francis prayed for peace in the Holy Land at the end of his Angelus address on Jan. 29, 2023. / Vatican Media

Pope Francis Expresses Sorrow Over "spiral of death" in the Holy Land

Jan 29, 2023

In his Sunday Angelus address, the pope expressed “great sorrow” for the death of Palestinians killed in an Israeli military raid and seven Israelis killed in a shooting.

With a cane in his right hand, 86-year-old Pope Francis delivers his 10th Christmas "Urbi et Orbi" blessing on Dec. 25, 2022. | Vatican Media

On Christmas Day, Pope Francis Prays for Prince of Peace to end "third world war"

Dec 25, 2022

In his Christmas Day blessing, Pope Francis prayed that leaders will listen to the “cries of the Prince of Peace” and bring an immediate end to the war in Ukraine and “the other theaters of this third world war.”

Pope Francis met a delegation affiliated with the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land on Jan. 17, 2022. Vatican Media

The story of the Holy Land is the "Fifth Gospel": Pope Francis

Jan 17, 2022

Pope Francis has urged journalists in the Middle East to keep telling stories from the Holy Land.