Religion News: Pope to visit Holy Land in May

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Pope Benedict XVI is planning a trip to the Holy Land in May to visit the sites Jesus visited and pray for peace in the Middle East.

Benedict’s tip to Israel is the first papal trip to the area since 2000, and the second official trip by a pope to Israel, according to wire reports.

The pope will visit Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, with stops in cities including Amman, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth, the Vatican said.

Israeli President Shimon Peres invited Benedict to visit and called the trip "an important and thrilling event of the first order, that emanates a wind of peace and hope," according to wire reports.

Cardinal: Bad bankers should ask for forgiveness

Bankers responsible for the global financial crisis should ask for forgiveness from God, Cardinal James Francis Stafford said Wednesday.

According to wire reports, Stafford told Vatican Radio, "The economic crisis is rooted in the lack of respect, on the part of the leadership of the world, towards other people.

"Bankers should assume moral responsibility and ask God for forgiveness for these complex sins."

Survey Says

A new analysis by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life finds 63 percent of women say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 49 percent of men.

Good Book?

“Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith” by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg

What would it be like to journey back to the first century and sit at the feet of Rabbi Jesus as one of his Jewish disciples? How would your understanding of the gospel have been shaped by the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the Jewish culture in which you lived?

“Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus" takes you on a fascinating tour of the Jewish world of Jesus, offering inspirational insights that can transform your faith. Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg paint powerful scenes from Jesus’ ministry, immersing you in the prayers, feasts, history, culture, and customs that shaped Jesus and those who followed him.

It will also help you to adapt the rich prayers and customs you learn about to your own life, in ways that both respect and enrich your Christian faith.

Get to Know … Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick was Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland.

According to Patrick’s writings, when he was about 16, he was captured and taken to Ireland. Once he was able to return home to his family in Britain, he had a vision that called him back to Ireland to minister.

Legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, though all evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes; and with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock.

March 17, popularly known as St. Patrick's Day, is believed to be his death date and is the date celebrated as his feast day.

The Word

Purim: Celebration of Jewish deliverance as told in the Book of Esther. After the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the Jews were taken into captivity. When ancient Persia took control, Haman planned to kill the Jews, but his plans were foiled by Esther and Mordechai. -- www.chabad.org

Religion Around the World

Religious makeup of Mauritania

Muslim: 100 percent

- CIA Factbook

GateHouse News Service