News / Middle East

Pope Francis to Visit Holy Land

Pope Francis to Visit Holy Landi
X
Scott Bobb
May 19, 2014 4:17 PM
Pope Francis visits the Holy Land beginning this Saturday, May 24, on his second trip since becoming the head of the Roman Catholic Church last year. His first stop is in Jordan, where he will visit the place many Catholics believe Jesus was baptized. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Bethany, on the Jordan River.
Scott Bobb
Pope Francis visits the Holy Land beginning this Saturday, May 24, on his second trip since becoming the head of the Roman Catholic Church last year. His first stop is in Jordan where he will visit the place -  at the Jordan River - many Catholics believe Jesus was baptized   and began his ministry. Pilgrims come from both sides of the river to renew their vows of faith.
 
This is an important stop during the pope’s upcoming visit to Jordan, according to local guide Baker al-Ziadat. “This is holy land. And the people come here to [be] baptized in the river and to visit the churches,” said al-Ziadat.

Lew and Leanne Kenah, from New Zealand, are on a weeklong trip to Jordan. “It’s something very special for us, very special. It’s a lot of historical and religious history. And we’re very surprised. I couldn’t believe that it was so small, the river.”

Archeologists have uncovered 1,500-year-old foundations of ancient churches. They believe this to be the actual site of Jesus’ baptism before time changed the river’s course.

The pope also is to meet with refugees from the conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq. Jordan has accepted hundreds of thousands of people displaced by war, notes the counselor at the Vatican embassy in Amman, Monsignor Mauricio Rueda.

“I think with this visit, his Holiness wishes to say, ‘Thank you, Jordan.’ Because this country has been very open for this humanitarian crisis," said Rueda. "Jordan has opened its doors to receive all our brothers. It’s a sign of peace because the pope will meet all these refugees.”

Pope Francis also will say mass at Amman’s main stadium.
 
Simon Shomali, who runs a souvenir shop near the baptism site, said he hopes the pontiff will bring inspiration to the region. "We are Christians who are praying for the peace. We think people should respect the footsteps of Jesus, where he was living. Wherever he went, we can watch [follow] his footsteps,” he said.

The Vatican said Francis will carry his message of peace across the river when he visits the West Bank and Israel [Bethlehem and Jerusalem] later in this trip.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: salome w peter. from: kenya
May 19, 2014 3:56 PM
Welcome Pope Francis,your going there will increase peopples faith,i hope many of them will be converted and show good example by living the Gospel after going back to their homes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid