In recent years the Jordanian government has been promoting tourism at a site on the Jordan River where Jesus is thought to have been baptized. Catholics, among other Christians, have embraced the spot as a reminder that Jordan was one of the important places of Jesus’ life and ministry.
Catholic Jordanians frequently reported having traveled there with their families, or in small groups of friends, and on diocesan pilgrimages in January at the Feast of the Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord, when the bishop celebrates Mass. The crowd is much larger than the church, so many people can’t even see or hear the Mass, but one young man who had been there reported that despite not being in the church, “you feel that you are in a place that Jesus had passed through and began something important… this is the thing that makes you feel as if you have prayed.”
Another reported, “It helps us relate more… we can put ourselves in the scenery: the same weather, the same environment. The Jordan River passes through there.”
Updated: October 3, 2014 - 2:45pm