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Tuesday, 16 April 2024
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Known in more recent times as Jaffa, with the modern city of Tel Aviv growing up on its periphery, the ancient Egyptian and Canaanite city of Joppa was about 30 miles NW of Jerusalem. It is considered to be the world's oldest port, and its harbour and location made it the natural port of Jerusalem.

It was to Joppa that Hiram floated down from Tyre the fir trees of Lebanon 2 Chron 2: 10-15, and, later, Zerubbabel, acting on the edict of Cyrus, caused to be brought here cedar trees from the same mountains Ezra 3: 6,7. Here Jonah fled for Tarshish Jonah 1: 1-3. In Joppa Peter raised Tabitha from the dead Acts 9:36-43, resided with Simon the tanner, saw the vision of the great sheet and the "unclean" animals, thus preparing him to receive the summons from Cornelius Acts 11:1-18.

In these days, Tel Aviv (and Joppa) is still a port of entry to Jerusalem and the Holy Land. We pray that Peter's return as Benedict XVI, the Vicar of Christ, may bring blessing to all the inhabitants of this land.


Pope in Holy Land: 'Primary intention is to pray for peace'

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VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2009 (VIS) - For the occasion of Benedict XVI's forthcoming pilgrimage to the Holy Land, due to take place from 8 to 15 May, statistics have been published concerning the Catholic Church in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The information, updated to 31 December 2007, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church.

Israel and the Palestinian Territories have a population of 7,180,000 of whom 130,000 (1.81 percent) are Catholic. There are nine ecclesiastical circumscriptions, seventy-eight parishes and three pastoral centres of other kinds. Currently, there are eleven bishops, 406 priests, 1,171 religious and one lay missionary. Minor seminarians number fourteen and major seminarians 110.

A total of 43,876 students attend 192 centres of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Israel and the Palestinian Territories include eleven hospitals, ten clinics, nine homes for the elderly or disabled, eleven orphanages and nurseries, four centres for education and social rehabilitation, and two institutions of other kinds.

Rabbis welcome Benedict XVI to the Holy Land

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Pope Benedict's Itinerary for Tel Aviv in 2009
Monday 11th May
Welcome ceremony 11 a.m. in Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport.
[next map location: Jerusalem]

Friday 15th May
Departure ceremony at Ben Gurion international airport in Tel Aviv, (take off for Rome at 2 p.m.)

Departure from Tel Aviv

Pope: No more fighting! No more terrorism! No more war!

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Pope leaves Israel: "No more war"

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Arrival at Tel Aviv

Pope arrives in Israel, condemns anti-Semitism

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Pope arrives in Tel Aviv

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