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ISRAEL - מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל - دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل

Paul VI was a pilgrim to Israel in 1964. Saint John Paul II followed in his footsteps in 2000 on his Jubilee Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Papa Benedict XVI was a pilgrim here in 2009 and Pope Francis is visiting in May 2014

Here below are responses to Totus2us podcasts given by Israelis
- many thanks to you all    ♥

To download the free mp3 Totus2us audio recordings individually, right/double click on the play buttons  
להוריד החופשי mp3 הקלטות שמע Totus2us בנפרד לחץ, נכון / כפול על הכפתורים לשחק  
لتحميل مجانا mp3 Totus2us التسجيلات الصوتية بشكل فردي، والحق / النقر المزدوج على أزرار اللعب  

Ferdi       

"It was a good experience; this is the first time I have come to a World Youth Day and I like it so much. .. The combination between the Arabs and the Israelis, it's good that they have a community here that gathers all people, that we pray altogether and we put everything aside and just have the religion that brings us all together."

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Lana       

"The great thing about World Youth Day is that I really know deep inside that the only thing that unites all these nations from all around the world is Jesus. So that's why I'm very happy to be here because I know that they all came for Jesus Christ; that's why it's very nice to know that we all came for the same goal, to find the same thing."

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Milad       

"It's a great emotion to be together really at JMJ Madrid. We feel that the unique person who unites us is Jesus Christ. We are coming from different countries with very difficult history and wars etc, but I see on this pilgrimage that we are together as brothers. In the one of the homilies that one of the bishops here in Spain said 'It is a very strong sign to see all these flags here together, from Jordan, Palestine, Israel and Iraq, all together, with all the flags; that politicians didn't succeed to unite them but Jesus Christ, yes he did, he did succeed to unite these people. I think that if there is love among persons, I think we will succeed, we will succeed to do this peace, peace in the spirit of Christ." 

If you'd like to give your something about Mary,
please do get in touch with the Totus2us team

- as well as hopefully bringing you joy,
you'd be really helping Totus2us   ♥

Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt.
Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor tuum, Maria. - St Louis de Montfort

Blessed John Paul II took his motto Totus Tuus from this quote.

"I am totally yours and all that I have is yours.
I accept you for my all. O Mary, give me your heart.”

Father Tom, from England was a pilgrim to the Holy Land       

"As I was walking I was often on my own and being able to reflect in silence on the places where Jesus had walked, where he'd talked, the places that had really shaped him. As I was walking I was meditating on different passages from the Bible, of Jesus walking along and his closeness to nature. I was struck by the beauty of the nature surrounding me, I was really struck by the beauty of the birds, of the Sea of Galilee, of all the very rich agriculture around. I think it really gave me an insight into Jesus's world, but more than that into his heart. into that sense of His journey, of the many journeys which He undertook, those physical journeys but also those journeys of the heart. I think Jesus always invites us to journey further, to journey deeper."

Pope Francis' reflection on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Wednesday 28 May 2014 - in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
As you know, in the past days I made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It was a great gift for the Church, and I thank God for it. He led me through that blessed Land, which saw the historical presence of Jesus and where fundamental events for Judaism, Christianity and Islam took place. I wish to renew my heartfelt appreciation to His Beatitude, Patriarch Fouad Twal, to the Bishops of the various Rites, to the Priests, and to the Franciscans of the Custos of the Holy Land. These Franciscans are good! Their work and what they do is very beautiful! My thoughts turn in gratitude also to the Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian authorities, who welcomed me with such courtesy, I would even say friendship, as well as all those who collaborated in making the visit a reality.

1. The main purpose of this pilgrimage was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras. That was the first time a Successor of Peter had visited the Holy Land: thus Paul VI inaugurated, during the Second Vatican Council, papal journeys outside Italy in the modern age. That prophetic gesture of the Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople was a milestone along the painful yet promising path to Christian unity, which since then has made significant steps forward. Therefore my meeting with His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, our beloved brother in Christ, represented the culminating moment of the visit. Together we prayed at the Sepulchre of Jesus, and with us were the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III and the Apostolic Armenian Patriarch Nourhan, as well as Archbishops and Bishops of various Churches and Communities, civil Authorities and many faithful. In that place where the announcement of the Resurrection resounded, we felt all the bitterness and pain of the divisions which still exist among Christ’s disciples; and truly this does great harm, harm to the heart. We are still divided; in that place where the very announcement of the Resurrection resounded, where Jesus gave us life, we are still somewhat divided. But above all, in that celebration filled with mutual brotherhood, esteem and affection, we heard loudly the voice of the Risen Good Shepherd who desires to make all of his sheep one single flock; we felt the desire to heal the wounds that are still open and to continue with tenacity on the journey to full communion. Once more, as former Popes have done, I ask forgiveness for what we have done to foster this division, and I ask the Holy Spirit to help us heal the wounds we have inflicted on other brothers. We are all brothers in Christ and with Patriarch Bartholomew we are friends, brothers, and we have shared the desire to walk together, to do all that we can do from this day forward: pray together, work together for God’s flock, seek peace, take care of creation, the many things that we have in common. And as brothers we move forward.

2. Another purpose of this pilgrimage was to encourage in that region the path to peace, which is God’s gift and, at the same time, the task of men. I did it in Jordan, in Palestine and in Israel. And I did it always as a pilgrim, in the name of God and of mankind, bearing in my heart a great compassion for the children of that Land who for too long have lived amid war and who have the right finally to know days of peace!

Therefore I exhorted the Christian faithful to allow themselves, with open and docile hearts, to be “anointed” by the Holy Spirit, so as to be increasingly capable of acts of humility, fraternity and reconciliation. The Spirit allows one to adopt these attitudes in daily life, with people of various cultures and religions, and thus to become “craftsmen” of peace. Peace is crafted by hand! There are no industries for peace, no. It is fashioned each day, by hand, and also with an open heart so that the gift of God may come. That is why I exhorted the Christian faithful to allow themselves to be “anointed”.

In Jordan I thanked the Authorities and the people for their efforts in welcoming the many refugees from war torn areas, a humanitarian effort that deserves and requires the constant support of the international Community. I was struck by the generosity of the Jordanian people in welcoming refugees, the many who flee from war in that area. May the Lord bless this welcoming people, may he greatly bless them! And we must pray that the Lord bless this hospitality and ask all international institutions to help them in this work of hospitality that they are carrying out. During the pilgrimage to other places, too, I encouraged the respective authorities to continue in their efforts to ease tensions in the Middle East, especially in martyred Syria, and to continue to seek a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Therefore, I invited the President of Israel and the President of Palestine, both men of peace and peacemakers, to come to the Vatican to pray together with me for peace. And please, I ask you not to leave us alone: pray, pray much that the Lord may give us peace, that He may give us peace in that blessed Land! I am counting on your prayers. Be strong in prayer at this time, pray intently that peace may come.

3. This pilgrimage to the Holy Land was also the occasion to confirm in faith the Christian communities, who suffer so much, and to express the gratitude of the entire Church for the presence of Christians in that region and in the entire Middle East. These, our brothers and sisters, are courageous witnesses of hope and charity, “salt and light” in that Land. By their lives of faith and prayer, and through their appreciated charitable and educational works, they work on behalf of reconciliation and forgiveness, thereby contributing to the common good of society.

On this pilgrimage, which was a true grace of the Lord, I wished to bring a word of hope, but I also received one in return! I received it from so many brothers and sisters who hope “against all hope” (Rom 4:18), amid such suffering, like those of one who has fled his own country because of the conflicts; like those of all who, in various parts of the world, are discriminated against and scorned on account of their faith in Christ. Let us continue to stay close to them! Let us pray for them and for peace in the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East. May the prayer of the whole Church also support the journey to full Christian unity, so that the world may believe in the love of God who in Jesus Christ came to dwell among us.

And I invite everyone now to pray together, to pray together to Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Queen of Christian unity, the Mamma of all Christians: that she may give peace to us, to the whole world, and that she may accompany us on this path of unity. [Ave Maria]"


Greetings:
"Je salue cordialement les pèlerins francophones, en particulier le groupe de la pastorale des personnes handicapées du diocèse de Bordeaux. Je vous invite à prier pour la paix en Terre Sainte et dans tout le Moyen Orient. Que la prière de tous soutienne aussi le chemin vers la pleine unité de l’Eglise. Que Dieu vous bénisse!

I am pleased to greet the members of the International Catholic Migration Commission meeting in plenary session, with prayerful good wishes for their united action in providing relief to so many of our brothers and sisters in need.  I also greet the Catholic Police Guild of England and Wales on the centenary of its foundation, and the members of the Global Legislators Organization. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, including those from England, Sweden, Israel, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, Canada and the United States, I invoke the joy and peace of the Risen Lord. God bless you!

Ein herzliches Willkommen sage ich den Brüdern und Schwestern deutscher Sprache. Diese Pilgerreise in das Heilige Land war eine wirkliche Gnade des Herrn. Ich durfte  auch viele Menschen ermutigen, die aufgrund von Konflikten, von Diskriminierung und aufgrund ihres Glaubens an Christus leiden. Beten wir für sie und für den Frieden im Heiligen Land und im ganzen Mittleren Osten. Gott segne euch!

Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los grupos provenientes de España, México, Argentina y otros países latinoamericanos. Invito a todos a pedir al Señor por nuestros hermanos de Tierra Santa, por la paz en Oriente Medio y por la unidad de los cristianos. Muchas gracias.

De coração saúdo todos os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, com menção particular dos grupos da Academia Paulista de Magistrados e do Instituto São Boaventura bem como os fiéis de Brasília, Campinas e Rolândia, encorajando-vos a ser por todo o lado testemunhas de esperança e caridade. E, se alguma vez a vida fizer desencadear turbulências espirituais na vossa alma, ide procurar refúgio sob o manto da Santa Mãe de Deus; somente lá encontrareis paz. Sobre vós, vossas famílias e paróquias desça a Bênção do Senhor!

أتوجه بتحية حارة إلى جميع الأخوات والإخوة الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة القادمين من الأردن والأراضي المقدسة. "ما أجمل وما أحلى أن يجتمع الإخوة معاً" (مز 133). أشكركم على استضافتكم الحارة والكريمة، وأؤكد لكم أن سأحملكم دائمًا في قلبي وفي صلاتي، وسأطلب لكم من الرب خيرا وفيرا، وازدهارا مستمرا، وسلاما دائمًا.

Pozdrawiam serdecznie pielgrzymów polskich. Bracia i siostry, dzisiaj pragnę szczególnie podziękować wam za duchowe wsparcie w dniach mego pielgrzymowania do Ziemi Świętej. Proszę was nadal o modlitwę za wszystkich, którzy mieszkają w Ziemi Jezusa i na całym Bliskim Wschodzie. Niech ten region świata cieszy się pokojem i braterstwem, które nam wszystkim darował nasz Pan, Jezus Chrystus. Z serca wam błogosławię.

* * *

Cari pellegrini di lingua italiana: benvenuti! Sono lieto di accogliere il pellegrinaggio della Diocesi di Trento, con l’Arcivescovo Mons. Bressan e i sacerdoti e le religiose della Diocesi di Ischia, con il Vescovo Mons. Lagnese. Saluto gli allievi della Scuola Vaticana di Biblioteconomia; i catechisti partecipanti al Corso di formazione presso il Vicariato di Roma; gli studenti di Tivoli, vincitori del “Festival della Bibbia”, accompagnati dal Vescovo Mons. Parmeggiani e i numerosi gruppi parrocchiali, in particolare i fedeli di Fondi, con il Vescovo di Gaeta, Mons. D’Onorio. La visita alle Tombe degli Apostoli ravvivi la fede, rafforzi la speranza e favorisca la carità.

Un particolare pensiero rivolgo ai giovani, agli ammalati e agli sposi novelli. Stiamo per concludere il mese mariano. La Madre di Dio, cari giovani, sia il vostro rifugio nei momenti più difficili; sostenga voi, cari ammalati, nell’affrontare con coraggio la vostra croce quotidiana e sia il vostro riferimento, cari sposi novelli, perché la vostra famiglia sia un focolare domestico di preghiera e reciproca comprensione. Grazie."

Papa Benedict's Words about his Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
- in Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today I shall talk about the Apostolic Journey that I made from 8 to 15 May to the Holy Land, for which I do not cease to thank the Lord because it turned out to be a great gift for the Successor of Peter and for the whole Church. I would like once again to express a heartfelt "thank you" to H.B. Patriarch Fouad Twal, to the Bishops of the various rites, to the Priests and to the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land. I thank the King and Queen of Jordan, the President of Israel and the President of the National Palestinian Authority, together with their respective Governments, all the Authorities and all those who in various ways collaborated in the preparation and success of my Visit. It was first and foremost a pilgrimage, indeed, a pilgrimage par excellence to the sources of our faith; and at the same time a Pastoral Visit to the Church which lives in the Holy Land: a community of unique importance because it is a living presence in the place where it was born.

The first stage, from 8 to 11 May, was in Jordan, in whose territory are located two of the most important holy places: Mount Nebo, from which Moses contemplated the Promised Land and where he died without entering it; then Bethany "on the other side of the Jordan", where, according to the fourth Gospel, St John began to baptize. The Memorial of Moses on Mount Nebo is a site with a strong symbolic value: it speaks of our condition as pilgrims between an "already" and a "not yet", between a promise so important and beautiful as to hearten us on the way, and fulfilment that surpasses us and also surpasses this world. The Church lives this "eschatological" and "pilgrim disposition" in herself: she is already united with Christ her Bridegroom but for the time being the wedding feast is only anticipated, in expectation of his glorious return at the end of time (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, nn. 48-50). In Bethany I had the joy of blessing the foundation stones of two churches that will be built on the site where St John baptized the people. This event was a sign of the openness and respect for religious freedom and for the Christian tradition which prevail in the Hashemite Kingdom and deserves deep appreciation. I was able to show this just recognition, united with profound respect for the Muslim community, the Religious Leaders, the Diplomatic Corps and the university Rectors who met at the Al-Hussein Bin Talal Mosque, that King Abdallah II commissioned in memory of his father, the famous King Hussein, who welcomed Pope Paul VI on his historic pilgrimage in 1964. How important it is that Christians and Muslims live side by side peacefully and in mutual respect! Thanks be to God and to the commitment of the government leaders this is happening in Jordan. I prayed that it would be like this also elsewhere, thinking especially of the Christians who instead experience difficult situations in neighbouring Iraq.

A large Christian community lives in Jordan, increased by Palestinian and Iraqi refugees. It is a significant presence appreciated in society, also because of its institutions for education and social assistance, attentive to the human person independently of his or her race or religion. A beautiful example is the "Regina Pacis" Rehabilitation Centre in Amman, which takes in numerous people afflicted by disabilities. In visiting it, I was able to bring a word of hope, but in turn I also received one, as a testimony strengthened by suffering and by human sharing; as a sign of the Church's commitment in the field of culture, I also blessed the foundation stone of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem's University of Madaba. I rejoiced in giving a start to this new scientific and cultural institution so that it may tangibly express that the Church encourages the quest for truth and for the common good and may offer a space for higher learning open to all who want to commit themselves to this search, an indispensable premise for a true and fruitful dialogue among civilizations. Likewise in Amman two solemn liturgical celebrations took place: Vespers in the Greek-Melkite Cathedral of St George and Holy Mass in the International Stadium which enabled us to savour together the beauty of meeting one another as God's pilgrim People, rich in their different traditions and united in the one faith.

After leaving Jordan, in the late morning of Monday, 11 May, I landed in Israel where, from my arrival, I introduced myself as a pilgrim of faith in the Land where Jesus was born, lived, died and rose, and at the same time, as a pilgrim of peace to implore from God that in the place where he chose to make himself man all men and women may live as his children, that is, as brothers and sisters. This second aspect of my journey naturally emerged in my meetings with the civil authorities: in my visit to the Israeli President and to the President of the Palestinian Authority. In that Land blessed by God, it sometimes seems impossible to extricate oneself from the spiral of violence. But nothing is impossible to God and to those who trust in him! For this reason faith in the one just and merciful God, which is the most precious resource of those peoples, must be able to release its full charge of respect, reconciliation and collaboration. I desired to express this wish in paying a visit both to the Grand Mufti and the leaders of the Islamic community of Jerusalem and to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, as well as at the meeting with the organizations involved in inter-religious dialogue and then, at the encounter with the religious leaders of Galilee.

Jerusalem is the cross-roads of the three great monotheistic religions, and its very name "City of Peace" expresses God's plan for humanity: to make it one great family. This design, announced to Abraham, was completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ, whom St Paul calls "our peace", because through his Sacrifice he forcefully broke down the dividing wall of hostility (cf. Eph 2: 14). Thus all believers must leave behind them their prejudices and desire to dominate and must in harmony obey the fundamental Commandment: in other words to love God with all one's might and to love one's neighbour as oneself. It is to this that Jews, Christians and Muslims are called to bear witness, in order to honour with acts that God to whom they pray with their lips. And it is exactly this that I carried in my heart, in my prayers, as I visited in Jerusalem the Western or Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock, symbolic places respectively of Judaism and of Islam. The Visit to the Yad Vashem Memorial, built in Jerusalem in honour of the victims of the Shoah, was also a moment of intense recollection. In silence we paused there, praying and meditating on the mystery of the "name": every human person is sacred, and his name is written in the heart of the eternal God. The horrendous tragedy of the Shoah must never be forgotten! On the contrary, we must always remember that universal recommendation of sacred respect for human life, which always possesses an infinite value.

As I have already mentioned, the priority of my Journey was the Visit to the Catholic Communities of the Holy Land and this also took place in various stages at Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth. In the Upper Room, my mind fixed on Christ who washed the Apostles' feet and instituted the Eucharist, as well as on the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church on the Day of Pentecost, I was able to meet, among others, the Custos of the Holy Land and to meditate with him on our vocation to be one, to form one body and one mind, to transform the world with the gentle force of love. Of course, this call encounters particular difficulty in the Holy Land, therefore, with the heart of Christ I repeated to my brother Bishops his very words: "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Lk 12: 32). I then briefly greeted the women and men religious of contemplative life, thanking them for the service that with their prayers they offer to the Church and to the cause of peace.

Above all the supreme moments of communion with the Catholic faithful were the Eucharistic celebrations. In Josaphat Valley, in Jerusalem, we meditated on the Resurrection of Christ as a force of hope and peace for that City and for the whole world. In Bethlehem, in the Palestinian Territories, Holy Mass was celebrated in front of the Basilica of the Nativity with the participation of the faithful from Gaza, whom I had the joy to comfort personally, assuring them of my special closeness. Bethlehem, the place in which the celestial hymn of peace for all men rang out, is a symbol of the distance that still separates us from the fulfilment of that proclamation. Precariousness, isolation, uncertainty, poverty: all this has led so many Christians to leave for distant places. Yet the Church continues on her way, supported by the power of faith and witnessing to love with concrete works of service to the brethren such as, for example, the Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem, supported by the Dioceses of Germany and Switzerland, and humanitarian action in the refugee camps. In the camp that I visited I wished to assure the families that are housed there of the closeness and encouragement of the universal Church and I invited everyone to seek peace with non violent methods, after the example of St Francis of Assisi. I celebrated the third and last Mass with the people last Thursday, in Nazareth, the town of the Holy Family. We prayed for all the families that they might rediscover the beauty of marriage and family life, the value of domestic spirituality and of education, attention to children who are entitled to grow up in peace and serenity. In addition, in the Basilica of the Annunciation, together with all the Pastors, consecrated people, ecclesial movements and lay people involved in Galilee, we sang our faith in the creative and transforming power of God. There, where the Word was made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, flows an inexhaustible source of hope and joy that does not cease to bring life to the heart of the Church, a pilgrim through history.

My pilgrimage ended last Friday with the stop at the Holy Sepulchre and with two important ecumenical meetings in Jerusalem: at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, where the representatives of all the Churches in the Holy Land had gathered, and lastly, at the Armenian Apostolic Patriarchal Church. I am pleased to sum up the whole of the itinerary that I was granted to follow precisely in the sign of Christ's Resurrection: despite the vicissitudes that have scarred the Holy Places down the centuries, despite the wars, destruction and unfortunately also conflicts between Christians, the Church has continued her mission, impelled by the Spirit of the Risen Lord. She is on her way towards full unity, so that the world may believe in the love of God and experience the joy of his peace. On my knees on Calvary and at the Holy Sepulchre I invoked the power of love that flows from the Paschal Mystery, the only force that can renew men and women and direct history and the cosmos to its destiny. I also ask you to pray for this intention, as we prepare for the Feast of the Ascension which we shall be celebrating in the Vatican tomorrow. Thank you for your attention."

BXVI - General Audience, Saint Peter's Square, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - © Copyright 2009 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana