January 5, 2014 - 16:15 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Pope Francis has announced his first trip to the Holy Land from May 24 to 26. The Pope will visit Jerusalem, Bethlehem in the West Bank, and the Jordanian capital, Amman, BBC News reports.
He made the announcement during his weekly Sunday blessing in Vatican City.
The visit is so far his only foreign trip planned for 2014. The Pope will celebrate Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with the ecumenical patriarch, Bartholomew.
"In the climate of joy typical of this Christmas period, I would like to announce that from May 24 to 26, God willing, I will carry out a pilgrimage to the Holy Land," he told crowds gathered in St Peter's Square.
The date of the announcement – Sunday, Jan 5- marks the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting in Jerusalem between the Pope and the leader of the world's Orthodox Christians.