On March 19, 2014, the Ambassador of Palestine to the Holy See, H.E. Mr. Issa Kassissieh sent a message to the Pope on first anniversary of his pontificate.
From the Holy Land of Palestine, I am pleased to deliver sentiments of love and admiration from the Palestinian people towards a loving and caring Father, a leader for peace and justice and a prince of the poor.
In the past week, we have had the pleasure to engage with an advance team from the Holy See, as we prepare to welcome His Holiness the Pope, along with His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew into our homeland. It is with great honor that H.E President Mahmoud Abbas, on behalf of Palestine, has extended all efforts to ensure that Your holy visit will be a historic one. We hope that through this pilgrimage, we can begin to formalize the strong bonds between the Holy See and our noble country and that one day soon, Palestine may serve as the entry point of the Holy See into the Middle East and the rest of the Arab World.
Jerusalem and Bethlehem are ready and all Palestinians are eager to be there to witness this visit. They will join from all over our nation, including Gaza, Jenin, Zababdeh, Nablus, Jericho and the towns and villages of the Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Ramallah districts. We are also making arrangements to allow thousands of Palestinian Christians from the Galilee to attend Mass in Bethlehem, reaffirming their commitment to their Church as well as to their Palestinian identity.
One year has passed with the grace of His Holiness’s prayers and good endeavors, One year has passed with the light of hope shining more than before from the Vatican in Rome, One year has passed and I am proud to be serving in this City representing my people’s aspirations among teachers of peace and love.
God bless all Your steps throughout the years. We wish Your Holiness all good health and we look to Your example as we strive to retain hope and to overcome occupation, separation, exile and injustice in this land