Venezuelan wins trip to Holy Land for Pope's visit

Gustavo Adolfo Franco Picaza of Maracaibo, Venezuela holds a sign with his gratitude for winning the contest. Credit: holyland-pilgrimage.org.

A 22-year-old Venezuelan man has won a contest held by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism to travel to the Holy Land for Pope Francis’ historic visit May 24-26.

Gustavo Adolfo Franco Picaza of Maracaibo, Venezuela, made the winning video for a contest held via Instagram at #PopeinHolyLand.

In a message to the organizers of the contest, Picaza said he would carry a special intention on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land: “To pray for peace in my country of Venezuela and for peace in the entire world.”

“I come from a very Christian family and ever since I was a child it has been a dream… [I] prayed every day to go and see the land of Jesus, the land promised by God to his people, the land where God sent his son to save the world, to visit the Holy Land, to walk its streets, but above all to pray in its churches. It’s a dream I have always had and now that by God’s grace you have given me this opportunity, I cannot pass it up,” Picaza said.

He thanked God for the chance to experience this pilgrimage during Pope Francis’ visit.

“It would be awesome to bump into the Holy Father on the street while visiting the land of Jesus and be able to tell him: ‘Holy Father, I am praying for you and for the peace of the world in Venezuela and in the land God promised to his sons and daughters.’”

“In one of his messages, Jesus tells us to go to Galilee, where we will see him and find him. This is something I want to experience. Undoubtedly visiting the Holy Land is a gift from God and a privilege that everyone in the world should have, and I am sure that this visit will help me,” Picaza said.

Picaza’s winning video can be seen at: http://instagram.com/p/mlGuwHQsYh/


Voices

Iowa and us in a Year of Mercy

Kathryn Jean Lopez

It was in the general-purpose room of St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines that Donald Trump made his last pitch to Iowa voters, inside a caucus room. He wanted to make sure people remembered that not only will he build the wall on our border with Mexico, but that he’s the only candidate who will make Mexico pay for it.

Events

February 2016
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February 7, 2016

  • Sunday, February 7

    Rosary and Mass for Life, 4:30 p.m., St. Cornelius Church, 5500 E. Wardlow Rd., Long Beach. Rosary begins at 4:30 p.m., followed by Mass at 5 p.m. For information, contact Sylvia Aimerito at (562) 429-1965 or visit AudioGirlMinistries.com.

     

    Solemn Mass for the Last Sunday before Lent, 12 p.m., St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Blvd,, Encino. Dale Jergenson – Dixieland Mass. Soloists and Dixieland Band, with the combined choirs of St. Cyril of Jerusalem and St. Francis de Sales of Sherman Oaks.

     

    Year of Mercy Mass in the Shrine of St. John Paul II, 3p.m., Our Lady of the Bright Mount Church, 3424 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles. Mass in Polish with Father Rafal Dygula, S.Ch., pastor and shrine director. Mass followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and confession, with Divine Mercy Chaplet. Closing prayer will be a blessing and veneration of the 1st class relic of St. John Paul II.  

     

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