Pope Benedict gave a special greeting to the Catholic doctors present at today’s general audience and addressed those living in the Holy Land.
First he told the doctors: "May your work, which serves human beings from conception until natural death, always be an eloquent testimony of human and Christian solidarity."
Then, noting his upcoming Friday trip to the Holy Land, he gave a special message to the people of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
He explained that he will visit the Holy Land "as a pilgrim of peace. The Pope continued: "My primary intention is to visit the places made holy by the life of Jesus, and, to pray at them for the gift of peace and unity for your families, and all those for whom the Holy Land and the Middle East is home. Among the many religious and civic gatherings which will take place over the course of the week, will be meetings with representatives from the Muslim and Jewish communities with whom great strides have been made in dialogue and cultural exchange."
Concluding his address, he said, "In a special way I warmly greet the Catholics of the region and ask you to join me in praying that the visit will bear much fruit for the spiritual and civic life of all who dwell in the Holy Land. May we all praise God for His goodness. May we all be people of hope. May we all be steadfast in our desire and efforts for peace."