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May 2009: Pope Benedict XVI visits the Middle East

Pope
A pilgrim wearing a cape with the image of Pope Benedict XVI attends a Mass led by the pontiff in Nazareth, the boyhood town of Jesus that is now an Arab-Israeli city. Tens of thousands of pilgrims with flags and banners unfurled thronged to the beat of drums and tambourines to witness Pope Benedict XVI celebrating his largest Mass in the Holy Land. (David Furst / AFP/Getty Images)
Nuns
Nuns attend the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on Mt. Precipice, just outside the northern Arab-Israeli city of Nazareth(Daniel Bar-On / AFP/Getty Images)
Grotto
Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives for a prayer at the Grotto of the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth(Gil Cohen Magen / Pool)
Pope
Pope Benedict XVI shakes hands with the faithful as he leaves the Grotto of Annunciation in the Galilee city of Nazareth. (Ettore Ferrari / EPA)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI visits Al Aqsa Mosque in the hilltop compound in Jerusalem known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary. The pope urged Palestinians and Israelis to embark upon “a sincere dialogue aimed at building a world of justice and peace.” (Atta Awissat / Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Franciscan monks and nuns wait to undergo security checks to attend a Mass in Jerusalem given by Pope Benedict XVI, who is on a weeklong Holy Land pilgrimage. (Jim Hollander / European Pressphoto Agency)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI visits the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, in Jerusalem’s Old City. (Menahem Kahana / AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI, in the custom of Jewish visitors, tucks a written prayer into a crevice in the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (Tony Gentile / European Pressphoto Agency)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI visits the hilltop compound in Jerusalem claimed by Israelis and Palestinians. The compound is known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary. (Ziv Koren / Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
The pope greets nuns during a visit to the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem. (Liron Almog / Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
The pope blesses Christians at the Latin Patriarchate’s church in Jerusalem’s Old City. (Brian Hendler / AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI meets with Israel’s chief rabbis in Jerusalem. The pontiff also held meetings with senior Muslim clerics. (Kobi Gideon / Pool Photo)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Christian youths make their way toward Mass, being held at Kidron Valley in Jerusalem’s Old City. Fouad Twal, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, attended the Mass given by the pope in Kidron Valley. (Tara Todras-Whitehill / Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by Israeli President Shimon Peres after arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on Monday. (Amos Ben Gershom / Israeli Governmental Press Office via Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI is accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and President Shimon Peres after arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. In remarks after touching down, the pope said, “The hopes of countless men, women and children for a more secure and stable future depend on the outcome of negotiations for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” (Carsten Koall / Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI dons earphones for a ride on an Israeli helicopter from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Avi Ohayon / Israeli Government Press Office via AFP / Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
A poster of Pope Benedict XVI provides a worthy photo opportunity outside the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by many to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Nasser Shiyoukhi / Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Israeli President Shimon Peres presents Pope Benedict XVI with an ear of a new hybrid strain of wheat developed by Israeli scientists and named “Benedictus XVI” in honor of the pontiff’s visit. (Avi Ohayon / Israeli Governmental Press Office via Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI speaks during the welcoming ceremony at the presidential residence in Jerusalem. (Lior Mizrahi / Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Palestinian security forces drive past a poster of Pope Benedict XVI near the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. (Abed Al Hashlamoun / EPA)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
A Palestinian boy writes a welcome message to Pope Benedict XVI on a section of Israel’s separation barrier next to the Aida refugee camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. (Abed Al Hashlamoun / EPA)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Israeli security personnel secure the area outside the papal nuncio’s residence, where Pope Benedict XVI is expected to stay in East Jerusalem. (Ahed Izhiman / AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
An Israeli activist also has a message for Pope Benedict XVI during a demonstration in central Jerusalem. Benedict was in Israel on the latest leg of a Holy Land pilgrimage that began in Jordan and will also take the pontiff to the occupied West Bank. (Ahmad Gharabli / AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI and Israeli President Shimon Peres plant an olive tree in the garden of the presidential residence in Jerusalem. (Oded Balilty / European Pressphoto Agency)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI arrives at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial’s Hall of Remembrance in Jerusalem. (Uriel Sinai / Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI takes part in a ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Speaking of the extermination of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis during World War II, Benedict said he would “pray that humanity will never again witness a crime of such magnitude.” (Sebastian Scheiner / Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI in Israel
Pope Benedict XVI prays after laying a wreath in the Hall of Remembrances at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. (Jim Hollander / EPA)
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Jordan
Pope Benedict XVI greets youth on his visit at Lady of Peace Centre on May 8, 2009, in Amman, Jordan. His trip to the Middle East will include visits to the West Bank and Israel. (Carsten Koall / Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Jordan
Pope Benedict XVI reviews the honor guard as he arrives at the Royal Palace in Amman. He expressed deep respect for Islam on Friday and said he hopes the Catholic Church can play a role in Mideast peace as he began his first trip to the region, where he hopes to improve frayed ties with Muslims. The pope was met at the airport by Jordan’s King Abdullah and praised the moderate Arab country as a leader in efforts to promote peace in the region and dialogue between Christians and Muslims. (Pier Paolo Cito / Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Jordan
Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by parishioners after his arrival at Lady of Peace. (Nasser Nasser / Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Jordan
Believers welcome Pope Benedict XVI on his visit at Lady of Peace. (Carsten Koall / Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Jordan
Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by a Jordanian official on his arrival in Amman, as the pontiff begins his eight-day tour. (Jamal Nasrallah / EPA)
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Jordan
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the crowds upon his arrival to hold Mass at Lady of Peace. (Khalil Mazraawi / AFP / Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Jordan
Pope Benedict XVI performs Mass. (Khalil Mazraawi / AFP / Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Jordan
Pope Benedict XVI leads the prayer service at Lady of Peace. (Nasser Nasser / Associated Press)
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