March 21st (EWTNews) As the second Pope to go to Jerusalem, Pope John Paul II traveled the 25-minute trip from the Ben Gourion Airport in Tel Aviv by way of a Black Hawk utility helicopter.

The Holy Father was presented with gifts as he made his way to the car that was waiting to take him to the Archbishop’s Residence for the evening. The gifts included, the Book of Psalms and a Hebrew Bible, which were presented on behalf of the people of Jerusalem.

Knowing his affection for children, the Pope paused as he was getting into the car to wave at the children who had gathered at the airport to greet him.

Security had been heightened to ensure the Holy Father’s safety. The local authorities have labeled this operation, Operation Old Friend. Over 18,000 police officers have been scheduled to protect the Pope during his stay in Jerusalem.