Loading
Pope Benedict visits Hagia Sofia and becomes second Pope to enter a mosque
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- On the third day of his pastoral visit to Turkey, Pope Benedict XVI visited the historic Cathedral-turned-museum Hagia Sofia, one of the most important symbols of the country, as well as the Blue Mosque, the central Mosque of Istanbul.  The Pope became only the second Pope to ever enter a Muslim house of prayer.

The Holy Father spent thirty minutes visiting Hagia Sofia, a basilica which served as the Cathedral Church of Constantinople until its conversion to a mosque in 1453.  In 1935 the secular Turkish republic converted it to a national museum.

The historic building which, now offers examples of Christian and Islamic art was visited by both Pope Paul VI and John Paul II on their visits to the country.

The Holy Father listened with interest as he was led through the museum by its director.

Afterwards, the Pontiff also visited the Sultan Ahmed Mosque.  The mosque, more commonly known as the Blue Mosque due to the color which once dominated its interior, was built opposite Hagia Sofia.

Pope John Paul II is the only other Pontiff to have entered a mosque, when he did so in Damascus in 2001.

Pope Benedict respected Muslim custom by removing his shoes prior to entering the house of prayer and was guided through the historic mosque by the Grand Mufti, who at one point asked Benedict to join in a moment of meditation.   The Holy Father remained silent for a moment with his hands folded one over the other.  Benedict reportedly told the Grand Mufti, “this visit will help us together to find the ways, the paths to peace for the good of mankind.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Sep
23

Liturgical Calendar

September 23, 2014

Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 8:19-21

Gospel
Date
09/23/14
09/22/14
09/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Prov 21: 1-6, 10-13
Gospel:: Lk 8: 19-21

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
09/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 8:19-21

Homily
Date
09/23/14
09/22/14
09/21/14