I saw the Pope

So I have been on a roll as far as running into history-making events while I travel and in this case it was Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land. Now, I’m not particularly religious, but I still thought it was a huge deal so of course I had to snatch a ticket to attend his mass in Bethlehem.

It started bright and early since we had to ride in a bus for nearly two hours to Bethlehem from Taybeh through one of the scariest roads in the world called Wadi Na’ar (translates to valley of fire, so you can imagine the curves). Though I am not the earliest of risers I was super psyched about this beautiful sunrise I got to see climbing over Taybeh.

IMG_3585

We got there and everything was super organized and we were given Vatican and Palestinian flag as well as some other swag, which I got a little too carried away with. Then the waiting began…if you have ever been in the Middle East you will know that once late afternoon rolls in the last place where you want to be is in the smack middle of a plaza with no shade, yeah we we there.

IMG_3589

But we made the best of it…

IMG_3591

IMG_3611

Then Mr. Pope Francis took the stage and gave a beautiful mass, asking for peace and justice especially in the Holy Land, a remark that angered and joyed many. He also invited Simon Peres (President of Israel at the time) and Mahmmoud Abbas (President of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank), To the vatican to restart peace talks after they had fallen through once more.

IMG_3614 IMG_3617

Some people had some real cool T-shirts like the one above and it was very exciting to see people be so overjoyed about seeing the Pope because their faith means so much to them.

Additionally during the wait I noticed the creative decoration they had set up for the event. In this one in particular there is a scene from the bible (John 20:27) where Jesus tell Thomas, “Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” However you will notice that in the photo there is an overlay and in this case it is the finger of an Israeli soldier reaching to touch a Palestinian identification card.

IMG_3620

With this I leave you I will keep on posting hopefully less erratically. But before that:

What do you think about these types of visits?

How do you feel about Religious travel? Have you ever done any types of pilgrimage? 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s