- (Photo: Reuters/Andrew Medichini/Pool)
Pope Francis slipped a Spanish version of the Lord's Prayer into Jerusalem's Western Wall during his visit to the Holy Land this week, according to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which published the note.
During his visit to Jerusalem this past Monday, journalists photographed Francis saying a quick prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City before slipping a note in between the stones of the wall, as is common tradition. After Francis departed from the Holy Land on Monday, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation published the contents of his note, handwritten on official papal letterhead and signed by the simple name "Francis."
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. Franciscus," the letter read, translated from its original writing in Spanish.
Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, made a similar gesture, leaving a prayer asking for peace at Judaism's holiest site when he visited in 2009.
The current leader of the Catholic faith visited many holy sites important to the Jewish and Christian faiths during his most recent visit to the Holy Land. Arriving in Jordan on Saturday, the pope spoke on the Syrian civil war and the ongoing territorial conflict between Israel and Palestine. He then made his way to Bethlehem, where he made an impromptu visit to the Wall of Bethlehem that separates Israel and Palestine. There, the pope prayed as Palestinian children stood next to him, holding the Palestinian flag.
The pope's message during his trip was one of peace and cooperation. He went so far as to invite Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli president Shimon Peres to join him at the Vatican in Rome this June for a "heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace."
Francis concluded his Middle East visit in Jerusalem on Monday, paying a visit to the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bid farewell to the pope at the Jerusalem airport tarmac.
"Bon voyage. We pray for you and you pray for us," Israel's prime minister told the Catholic leader.