The Catholic churches in Jordan marked on Friday, January 13, the national Christian pilgrimage to Lord Jesus Christ's Baptism Site which has been observed since 2000.
Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Most Rev. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa celebrated Mass. Present at the Mass were a number of bishops, priests, nuns, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Lina Annab , a number of Arab and foreign ambassadors, as well as a multitude of believers from Jordan, the Holy Land, and neighboring countries.
In his homily, Latin Patriarchate Vicar of Jordan Archbishop Maroun Lahham paid tribute to the Jordanian family whose name is associated with the holy river. Furthermore, on the side of the river, he prayed for love and peace in the region and in the entire world. He also conveyed greetings to His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein and the Jordanian family.
Archbishop Lahham also thanked all those who contributed to the success of this religious celebration, including the civil and security authorities, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity, the Baptism Site administration represented by its director Engineer Suleiman Freijat, scouts, clergymen and the Russian Pilgrims' Reception House that welcomes the pilgrims every year. He concluded his homily by saying: "May the baptism of Lord Jesus and our baptism serve as a light that guides us in our march towards the Almighty God."
Minister of Tourism and Antiquity Lina Annab delivered an address at the end of the Mass in which she expressed her joy for participating in this annual pilgrimage. She also wished that religious tourism would flourish in our country and that Arabs and foreigners would visit this Site to be blessed by its holy water. She also stressed the need to maintain permanent coordination between the ministry and Church to jointly promote religious tourism to the Kingdom.
This is annual pilgrimage has been carried out by the Catholic churches on the second Friday of the month of January, since the start of the pilgrimage on the Grand Jubilee in 2000, and since the visit of St. Pope John Paul II in that year, the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, and the visit of Pope Francis in 2014. It is to be noted that the Catholic churches in the Kingdom include the Latin Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and Armenian Catholic Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Maronite Church, and the Chaldean Church.