A Pilgrim's Progress

The Pope's trip to the Holy Land takes him from places of prayer to political battlegrounds

As scheduled, Pope John Paul II knelt in the grotto of the Nativity last Wednesday. Earlier in the day he had announced that "Bethlehem is the heart of my Jubilee Pilgrimage," and now having walked slowly, on aching, 79-year-old legs, down the narrow steps from the basilica above, he found his way to his knees and prayed over the silver star in the pavement that many believe marks the very spot where Jesus Christ was born. Then--again as planned--he moved on, knelt and prayed in the adjoining Grotto of the Wise Men, where the child Jesus lay in the manger. Then...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!