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Let us learn from their embrace: Pope notes Holy Land anniversary

Pope Francis-ANGELUS- Epiphany-2024

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 01/06/24

Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras broke down "a wall of incommunicability that had kept Catholics and Orthodox apart for centuries"

After praying the midday Angelus on the feast of the Epiphany, Pope Francis noted a 60-year anniversary that occurred January 5.

Sixty years ago, in these very days, Pope Saint Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras met in Jerusalem, breaking down a wall of incommunicability that had kept Catholics and Orthodox apart for centuries. Let us learn from the embrace of those two great men of the Church on the path to Christian unity, praying together, walking together, working together.

Learn all about their meeting, and the surprising way it came about here:

The Pope considered how that gesture of unity leads us to pray for the war-torn land where Jesus walked, and the Kings visited:

And thinking of that historic gesture of fraternity in Jerusalem, let us pray for peace, for peace in the Middle East, in Palestine, in Israel, in Ukraine, all over the world. So many victims of war, so many deaths, so much destruction … Let us pray for peace. I express my closeness to the Iranian people, in particular the relatives of the many victims of the terrorist attack that occurred in Kerman, the many who were injured and all those who were affected by this great suffering.

Enjoy some images of the festive (though chilly) morning in St. Peter’s Square

Pope Francis
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