So I wound up going to Pilate's place, St. Anne's Church where Mary was born, and the Pool of Bethesda. I also went to a procession in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher with the Franciscans this evening. It was very beautiful- a ton of ancient hymns and chants. It also never made you so proud to pray in Latin, in the midst of all of the other rites and eastern orthodox in that Church. You quickly realize here in the Holy Land how necessary a strong ritual identity is. It makes you proud to be a Latin-rite Catholic. These Franciscans aren't your run-of-the-mill Franciscans, either. These are pretty hardcore by all appearances, the defenders of the Catholic tradition in the Holy Land.
Tomorrow we go to Bethlehem and to the site of the Visitation, then I need to quickly finish my shopping and get ready for a night in the Holy Sepulcher. +AMDG