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THE CUSTODY OF THE HOLY LAND CELEBRATES MASS IN THE DESERT AT THE JORDAN RIVER

Date: Thursday, October 28th, 2004
Source: Custody of the Holy Land



The traditional pilgrimage to the Jordan River occurred on the 28th of October, at the site of the Baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist. As happens every year, the Franciscan Friars and Catholic pilgrims can only visit this Holy Site on the last Thursday in October, as it is normally forbidden for the public to enter this area for military reasons.
  This year there was a large participation. Over 10 buses were organized by the parishes that the Franciscans are in charge of in the Holy Land. In particular, there were parishioners present from the parishes of St. Saviorís and of Saints Simeon and Anna in Jerusalem, from St. Catherine's in Bethlehem, from the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, from Cana in Galilee, from Mugeidel, from Jaffa and from Jericho. The solemn procession departed from the parking lot near an old, abandoned Greek monastery. After the Franciscan Friars, there followed in the procession the Scouts of Jericho and then all the faithful present from the diverse communities.
  After everyone arrived at the bank of the Jordan River, the Most Reverend Father Custos Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M., presided at the Holy Mass, at which were present many concelebrating priests. After the Gospel was the renewal of baptismal vows, followed by a sprinkling rite where everyone was blessed with holy water taken from the Jordan River. After the Mass there was a visit to the Jordan River to allow the pilgrims to pray and to fill their bottles with water from the Jordan River. Afterwards the pilgrimage continued towards Jericho for the traditional visit to the Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Forty Days, a name which recalls the temptations that Jesus received at this site. In front of the main entrance to the monastery, which is situated and built into the side of the steep mountain, the Gospel of Matthew was read in Arabic, Italian, and Spanish, which recounts the story of Jesus' temptation by the Devil. After the Gospel the Friars and pilgrims entered the monastery to kiss the rock which, according to tradition, Jesus sat on while the Devil tempted Him.






  


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Created / Updated Friday, 8 October, 2004 at 7:48:46 am by J. Abela, E.Alliata, E. Bermejo
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