Hundreds come to Jordan River to be Baptized

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Tuesday 10, January 2012 | Category:  

Pilgrims being baptized in the Jordan River

I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Sound familiar?

For many of us, recalling our baptism is probably pretty hard to do without photos, videos, or stories, since we were so little. However, this weekend hundreds of Pilgrims in Qasr El-Yehud, Israel flocked to the Jordan River to celebrate the Baptism of the Lord reports the Catholic News Service.

Hajeh Mattar and her family made the journey to the Jordan to get baptized and to celebrate Jesus' baptism. According to Hajeh, "I came here to thank God. I came here to thank God for my grandchildren. They have strengthened my faith."

Nearby, mass was celebrated by Franciscan priest Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa. Many, parents were handing their children to him to receive the sacrament of Baptism and many people renewed their baptismal vows by stepping into the river.

This site was reopened in May to the public after many years of planning. Up until this point, people were only allowed by the Jordan River for special circumstances due to the threat of terrorism. Rania Basir, 36, a Palestinian from Jerusalem studying in Cairo, filled empty bottles with water from the river. "This is like a blessing," Basir said.

Baptism is such an important sacrament welcoming each of us into the Church and becoming adopted into God's loving embrace. As we recall our own baptisms, think about how joyous this occasion was and how this first step encouraged us to live a life of faith in God. 


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