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Some highlights from Pope Francis’ Holy Land visit

May 26, 2014

JERUSALEM (AP) — A look at some highlights of Pope Francis’ visit to Jerusalem on Monday, the third and last day of his Holy Land pilgrimage.

- Visits the Dome of the Rock, Islam’s third-holiest site, atop the contested complex revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount.

- Removes his shoes to enter the shrine and urges his “brother” Muslims to never commit violence in God’s name.

- Prays at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site, and leaves a note with a text of the “Our Father” prayer in Spanish in a crack between the stones.

- Lays a wreath of white and yellow flowers, the colors of the Vatican, at the tomb of the founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl.

- Following his prayer on Sunday at the controversial separation barrier in Bethlehem, makes an unscheduled stop at a memorial for Israelis killed in suicide bombings and other attacks, and leans in prayer on the plaques lined with the names of victims.

- Visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and meets with six survivors, kissing the hands of each one and listening to their life stories.

- Calls the Holocaust “an evil” that had never been seen before and prays to God that such a tragedy may never be repeated.

- Meets with Israel’s chief rabbis, recalls the Jewish roots of Christianity and says the bond between the two faiths is unbreakable despite past “difficulties.”

- Meets Israeli President Shimon Peres and praises the Nobel Peace Prize laureate as “a man of peace and a maker of peace.”

- Meets Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, who stresses that Israel “protects the rights” of its Christian population.

- Meets priests and clergy in the church of Gethsemane, the garden where the Gospels say Jesus was arrested.

- Celebrates Mass at the Cenacle, the traditional place of Jesus’ last supper. The room is above the traditional site of the tomb of the biblical Jewish King David. Currently prayers are held in the Holy Supper room twice a year.

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