Pope Francis waves upon his arrival at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman May 24, 2014. Pope Francis arrives in Jordan on Saturday to start an intense three-day trip to the Middle East, bringing hope to the dwindling Christian population and an appeal to members of all religions to work together for peace.
After a joyous welcome from the gathered faithful, Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Saturday at a stadium in Jordan on the first leg of a Holy Land trip intended to promote a message of unity.
The Holy Land trip, also taking in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, is the first for Francis as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, and just the fourth for any pontiff in the modern era.
His trip has been billed as a "pilgrimage for prayer," with its roots in faith, not politics.
His visit marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark meeting between Pope Paul VI and the then-spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Athenagoras, in Jerusalem.
Thousands of believers packed the International Stadium in Amman for the Mass in what is a majority Muslim nation with a significant Christian community. Many cheered and waved as the Pope arrived.
A gust of wind blows off Pope Francis' cap as he speaks during a Mass at Amman International Stadium in Jordan.
In a key moment of his three-day visit to the Holy Land, Pope Francis prays at the separation barrier in Bethlehem Sunday.