Amman – On Thursday, September 15, 2016, the faithful came together in prayer during the inauguration ceremony of the Martyrs of Jordan Church in Marj Al- Hamam in Amman. The name of the church represents the Christian martyrs whose blood was shed on Jordanian soil in the early periods of Christianity, at the time of the Roman persecution of Christians.
The inauguration of the church was marked by a Mass celebrated by Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal in the presence of Most Rev. Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar in Nazareth, retired Archbishop of the Roman Catholics Yasser Ayyash, parish priest Fr. Hanna Kildani, a number of priests and Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.
In his address, Fr. Kildani reviewed the stages, which led to the construction of the church. He thanked all benefactors including the Naber family, as well as, the engineers who designed and supervised the construction of the church. He said, “The construction of a new church in Jordan reflects the security and stability prevailing in Jordan, which is attributed to the wise Hashemite leadership and the noble Jordanian people”. He continued, “At a time when churches and mosques are demolished in several countries in the Middle East, others are being built in Jordan which signals the peace and love prevailing among all components of society.”
In his homily, Patriarch Fouad Twal said: “It is very impressive to have the Latin Patriarchate name this new church “The Church of the Martyrs of Jordan”. This shows that Jordan is a country of holiness. Lord Jesus was baptized here by John the Baptist. Furthermore, John the Baptist was martyred here, in Mkawer. In the aftermath, several people lived in this region and were ready to sacrifice their lives and have their blood shed for the sake of the Gospel, Christ and the Church. They are the people whom Tertullian referred to as ‘The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church’.”
He added: “Honoring the martyrs of the past time does not exclude our admiration and our solidarity with the martyrs of our time. These martyrs are all the innocent people who were killed and forcibly displaced from their homes and cities because of their faith. At this site, where the church is located, brethren of ours from Mosul lived. They watched the church (The Martyrs of Jordan Church) being constructed every day – a people expelled from their country because of their faith. The same faith for which John the Baptist, Xenon, Zenas and others were martyred. Greetings to all those who still suffer because of their faith in Lord Jesus Christ.”
The building and completion of the church was made possible by the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the Naber Catholic family of Jordan (Jamil, Shafiq and Issa Naber), Parishioners and Latens Foundation Chile.
Courtesy of H.E. Patrick Powers, Vice Governor General – North America Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem