Catholic News Service photo
Matzo and drops of wine are seen on a plate at a Seder table. The Jewish ritual feast is celebrated during Passover, the commemoration of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.
Catholic News Service photo
Matzo and drops of wine are seen on a plate at a Seder table. The Jewish ritual feast is celebrated during Passover, the commemoration of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.
VATICAN CITY — Offering Passover greetings to Rome's Jewish community, Pope Francis also asked for prayers for his upcoming trip to the Holy Land.

With the approaching of the start of Passover at sundown April 14, the pope said he wanted to offer his "best wishes for peace" to Rome's chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni and the city's Jewish community.

"May the memory of liberation from oppression by the powerful hand of the Lord inspire thoughts of mercy, reconciliation and fraternal closeness to all those who suffer under new forms of slavery," the pope said in the message, which was printed on the Rome Jewish community's Moked website.

"Turning my thoughts to Jerusalem, which I will have the joy of visiting" in late May, Pope Francis asked the community "to accompany me with your prayers."

Moked said Rabbi Di Segni would respond to the pope's message with one from the Jewish community for Pope Francis' celebration of Easter.