Your Holiness, here we are in the heart of the Baptism Site, in this church built with the help of the Jordanian Muashar family, here with us today. The land is a gift from the State, due to the friendship and generosity of His Highness Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammed Bin Talal.
I am happy to present to you a group of children and young people, friends of the Child Jesus, because they are small and because they represent the wounded humanity in this region of the Middle East.
Some are Syrian refugees who came to Jordan seeking refuge. Through Caritas Jordan, the right hand of the Church, and in collaboration with numerous other humanitarian organizations, they have been able to find here a compassionate heart that has come to help them.
The other children, victims of different illnesses and supported by Princess Dina who directs the Jordan national centre for the fight against cancer are also happy for your prayers and your blessing.
Our Church, together with the Jordanian government, is pleased and proud to present to the world this holy place where the Baptism of Jesus Christ took place and where our Lord’s public life began.
Following in your footsteps, we invite the Christian world to visit this site and learn more about our roots and our ecclesial life. For many, this river is a border. For the Latin Patriarchate, which includes Cyprus, Israel, Palestine and Jordan, it is more a bridge that unites, a call to communion and unity.
For these children, for this site and for our country, we ask for your paternal blessing.