"Lighting the Candles of Peace" celebration marked at the Baptism Site

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"Lighting the Candles of Peace" celebration marked at the Baptism Site

Baptism Site-en.abouna.org

Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Lina Annab patronized the celebration of “Lighting the Candles of Peace’’ on Friday May 11.

The celebration was held at the Church of Baptism off the Baptism Site of Lord Jesus Christ on the bank of the River Jordan within the framework of an eve titled, "Jordan, the Land of Peace".

Present at the event, organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in cooperation with the Baptism Site Commission, were heads of Churches, a number of ambassadors of friendly countries, and a large number people from various parts of Jordan.

Minister of Tourism Annab said: “I stand before you to confirm to you and to the world that Jordan’s King, government and people convey a message of peace and love. We chose to have this celebration coincide with the Marian Month as well as the with the advent of the holy month of Ramadan in a few days to tell the world that Jordan is a holy country which celebrates plurality as well as carries the message of comprehensive brotherhood and mutual respect among its entire people.”

She also recalled in her address Fr. Michele Piccirillo who had located the Baptism Site. She continued:"We hope that Fr. Piccirillo, who passed away 10 years ago, may his soul rest in peace, would be with us today. He is the one credited for locating the Baptism Site. He loved Jordan and opted to be buried in Jordan upon his death.”

Minister of Tourism Annab concluded he address by thanking all those who contributed to holding this celebration and referred in particular to the Fountain of Love Choir which marks its 15th anniversary. She also thanked "all those who work to spread the culture of peace in the world so that we would stand hand-in-hand loving one another.”

In his address, Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media Fr. Rif’at Bader said: “In May 2009, when the leader of our country stood next to the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, to lay the foundation stone of this Church, the cathedral, foundation stone of the church, it was a clear and explicit declaration that the world's certainty was corroborated by the fact that we were experiencing a unique situation namely, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan or rather Jordan, the land of peace". It also demonstrated that we have a wise leadership, namely the Hashemite leadership which acquires religious and historic legitimacy, and that our king is the king of dialogue and peace.”

He added: “Nine years after that event, and 18 years after the first pilgrimage in our modern era to this holy place and after the successive visits by four popes, we stand at this very place and recall the past events. In 1964, Pope Paul VI stood by the gushing Jordan River water and prayed the traditional Christian prayers, namely the Lords Prayer (Our Father), the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be, then he proceeded to Jerusalem. In the 2000 Great Jubilee, Pope John Paul II went on pilgrimage and prayed at St. Elias Churches. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI laid the foundation stone, as I have mentioned. In 2014, Pope Francis prayed with the sick and the forcibly displaced brethren here.”

The celebration included hymns performed by the Fountain of Love Choir as well as a hymn titled, “It is time for Peace” which was performed in cooperation with the Caritas Jordan. A CCSM-produced feature film was also screened featuring the visits carried out by senior political and religious figures to the Baptism Site.

Sat, 05/12/2018 - 11:32
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