Christians from every denomination meet where Jesus was baptized
- Christians from every denomination meet where Jesus was baptized
Friday, January 28, 2005
Amman (AsiaNews) About 15,000 Christians from Jordan and the Holy Land
came today to the shores of the Jordan River to the spot where, according to
tradition, Jesus was baptised. They travelled to the holy site, which is
just a few kilometres south-west of the Jordanian capital of Amman, to
celebrate the Feat of the Theophany.
The high point of the event was a holy mass celebrated at 10 am by Mgr
Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, with seven leaders of other
Churches with a presence in the Holy Land such as the Melkite, Armenian,
Maronite, Chaldean, Coptic Churches, etc. Protestant leaders from both sides
of the Jordan were also present. The Greek-Orthodox and other Orthodox
Churches of the Occupied Territories Churches celebrated the Feast Day on
The ceremony involved blessing the waters of the Jordan and aspersing the
Patriarch Sabbah along with Mgr George El-Murr, Greek-Melkite Archbishop of
Amman, prayed on rivers shore before a big wooden cross half immersed in
Usually, the Feast of the Theophany occurs on January 6 (Epiphany), but Fr
Nabil Haddad told AsiaNews that this year the Churches decided to delay the
celebration to enable university students to take part during their winter
The event was organised by Fr Ghalib Badr, of the Latin Vicariate.
Every year, Father Badr told AsiaNews, Christians come on pilgrimage to
this spot on the eastern shore of the Jordan River to commemorate the moment
when John baptised the Lord Jesus.
He said that some archaeological excavations confirmed the historical
accuracy of the location. Traces of ancient Christian settlements and
pilgrimages were found documenting that it was in used as a holy place.
Jesus Baptism site is one of the few holy sites in Jordan. The Orthodox
Church has just built a church nearby dedicated to John the Baptist. Other
Christian communities have started building their own. (ID)