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Pope Francis shakes hands with Riccardo Di Segni Pope Francis shakes hands with the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni 

Pope Francis sends Passover greetings to Rome’s Jewish Community

In a message addressed to the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, Pope Francis extends his “cordial and fraternal” wishes to the Rome Jewish Community for the Feast of Pesach.

Pesach, or Passover, is an eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates how God freed the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt, as recounted in the Old Testament Book of Exodus.

“May the Almighty bless and accompany the journey of the beloved Jewish People”, writes Pope Francis. “May the Most High allow us to grow ever more in friendship and to be witnesses of peace and harmony”, he adds.

The Pope concludes with a request for prayers and with the greeting, “Chag sameach” – “Happy Feast” in Hebrew.

Pope Francis' message comes in response to similarly cordial greetings of “serenity, joy and peace” for Easter, sent to him by Rome’s Chief Rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni.

The exchange of greetings is particularly significant since this year the dates of the Christian celebration of Easter and the Jewish celebration of the Passover coincide.

29 March 2018, 14:24