Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land - 21/03/2000 info:
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Amman Stadium, Tuesday, March 21, 2000 at 9:00 a.m.

The Pope arrived in the Stadium of Amman in the Popemobile. Dressed in red vestments, celebrating the martyrdom of John the Baptist, which according to Josephus took place in Machaeurs fortress overlooking the Dead Sea, in Jordanian territory. His Holiness was flanked by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah and other concelebrants. On his entrance on the raised podium covered by a yellow and white canopy in the form of an apse, he saluted the crowd that filled the whole stadium. An orchestra and choir took care of the singing. This was made up mostly moslem members under the baton of a moslem director! The first words pronounced by His Holiness after the sign of the cross were "Peace be with you" in Arabic. Then the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem addressed the Pope in Arabic. He in the name of the Catholic Church in this land greeted the Pope and presented to him the Church in these lands and its pastroral involvement ending with a reference to the cooperation and work carried out by moslems and christians alike in this country of Jordan under the leadership of his Majesty King Hussein.

The Pope then introduced the liturgy with these words: "I come as a pilgrim" following in the footsteps of sacred history. In this land, the Pope said, the Old and New Testamant find a meeting place. It is also the land of St. John the Baptist, patron of Jordan who baptised Jesus in river Jordan. The Pope then greeted all in the name of Almighty God the Father , His Son Jesus and the Holy spirit who revealed Himself during the baptism of Jesus. He concluded this introduction by presenting the water which he was to bless and which was brought for this celebration from river Jordan as remebrance of our baptism.

After the reading of the liturgy of the word the Pope proclaimed this homily: (CLICK HERE FOR THE HOMILY)

Mass is still in progress... we will give the remaining description of the celebration at the end of the Eucharist.

Created / Updated Tuesday, March 21, 2000 at 09:41:59