Skip to comments.Pope Francis Visited Israel in 1973, Just as Yom Kippur War Broke Out
Posted on 04/22/2013 6:58:45 AM PDT by marshmallow
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, then in his mid-30s, spent six days confined to his Jerusalem hotel, studying the Letters of Saint Paul to the Corinthians
When Shimon Peres flies to Italy next week to formally ask Pope Francis I to visit Israel, the president will actually be inviting the newly elected pontiff to make his second trip to the Holy Land. Forty years ago, The Times of Israel has ascertained, Jorge Mario Bergoglio made an unfortunately timed first visit.
It was early October 1973, and Bergoglio, then in his mid-30s, had been in Rome completing a course for his new job as the Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus in Argentina. He flew to Israel intending to tour widely, but arrived at the very start of the Yom Kippur War.
Sources in the Argentinian Jewish community, with whom Bergoglio has a long and warm relationship, said the rumor is that he stayed in Israel for only a few hours before being evacuated because of the war. Not quite.
In fact, the Vatican told The Times of Israel, Bergoglio was here for about a week, but the war certainly caused difficult problems for the visit.
On his first day and a half, Bergoglio was able to visit holy sites in Jerusalem, including the church-filled neighborhood of Ein Kerem, and Bethlehem, said Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office.
After that, however, because of the fighting, Bergoglio was unable to tour further. Instead, he spent the next six days confined to the American Colony Hotel, on the seamline between West and East Jerusalem.
He used the time studying the Letters of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, Lombardi said, using books that he borrowed from the library of the Jerusalem branch of the Pontifical Biblical Institute.
Since beginning his papacy last.......
(Excerpt) Read more at timesofisrael.com ...
Pope Leo XIII — During one of his audiences, a man claimed to have had the opportunity to see Pius IX at one of his last audiences before his death in 1878. Upon hearing the remarkable story, Leo smiled and replied, “If I had known that you were so dangerous to popes, I would have postponed this audience further”.