On Monday morning the pilgrimage, which will last until April 28, began, while the 10k marathon will start on April 25. Since the first pilgrimage in 2004, the starting and ending points have alternated between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
This year’s marathon will include runners from Italy, Israel, Palestine, Slovakia, Mexico, Ecuador, the United States, who will be carrying the flag of peace and the Olympic flag.
Archbishop Josef Clemens, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, will preside at the ceremonial events.
“The marathon aims to unite two aspects that are joined together and are complementary: religion and sports in order to walk together for peace,” organizers explained.
The event is organized by the Italian Bishops’ Conference, the Israeli Office of Tourism, the Pellegrinaggi Roman Opera and the Italian Sports Center.
.- On Monday the fourth marathon-pilgrimage linking Nativity Square in Bethlehem with the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem began, with this year’s pilgrimage dedicated to John Paul II.