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The Pope’s new olive tree
After a sea voyage from the Holy Land of over 2,000 kilometres, a 200-year-old olive tree that was gifted to Pope Benedict XVI by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrived at Vatican City in Rome a few days ago. Netanyahu said the tree symbolizes the friendship between the two States following his recent audience with the Pope and his subsequent tour of the Vatican Museum. The tree is approximately half a metre thick at its base and around four metres high, and was professionally pruned with its roots packed in soil for the long journey to its new home. The operation was facilitated by Keren Kayemeth, the Jewish National Fund, which selected and shipped the tree from near the Dead Sea, and whose World Chairman, Effi Stenzler, will be present at the planting ceremony during the last week of October in the Vatican Gardens at Viale Degli Ulivi (‘Olive Tree Boulevard’).
Many olive trees in the groves around the Mediterranean are said to be hundreds of years old, while an age exceeding 1,000 years is claimed for a number of individual trees, and in some cases this has been scientifically verified.
Quote of the day:
"The doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ is made a convenient cover for absurdity".