May 24 - Pope Francis leads mass in Jordan for thousands of Catholics, at the start of his three-day Middle East tour. Vanessa Johnston reports.
Pope Francis arrives for mass at Amman International Stadium in Jordan Saturday. 20,000 pilgrims came from far afield to hear the Pope's message of peace. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PILGRIM FROM LEBANON, RAMI ABU SAYEH, SAYING: "We expect, because he is a symbol of peace, we expect the people will interact with this symbol and try to achieve peace in our countries." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PILGRIM FROM LEBANON, AYMAN KHOSHEH, SAYING: "His visit is very significant, it carries a message of peace not just for Jordan but for all the Arab countries and the Middle East. We, as Lebanese people, hope that the pope will one day visit us. We will fulfill the message of peace." A gust of wind blew away the Pope's cap, but he remained steadfast throughout the mass. On the plane ride over, Pope Francis admitted that his three-day Middle East tour would be "challenging". On Sunday morning he flies to Bethlehem, making a six-hour visit to what the Vatican's official program calls "the State of Palestine," a terminology Israel rejects. Pope Francis will head to Israel Sunday night.