On Saturday 2 May 2015, parishioners of Naour came in large numbers to the inauguration of the first shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes in Jordan and in the region, on the occasion of a Mass celebrated by Patriarchal Vicar in Jordan, Mgr Maroun Lahham. On the following day, Patriarch Fouad Twal went there for a moment of prayers with the parishioners.
Parishioners of the Latin Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Naour, a town in the heart of the Jordanian Kingdom, 24 kms south of Amman, hurried on Saturday for the inauguration of the first sanctuary of the region, dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes.
Mass was preceded by the rosary, and then presided by Patriarchal Vicar in Jordan, Mgr Lahham. The latter blessed the sanctuary with holy water brought in especially from Lourdes in France for the occasion.
During the ceremony, Fr Rifat Bader, parish priest of Naour, read a letter from the Bishop of Lourdes, Mgr Nicolas Brouwet, whereby the latter expressed his joy and his thanksgiving for the construction of this sanctuary – the first to carry the name of his diocese in Jordan.
On the following day, Sunday 3 May, Patriarch Fouad Twal visited the sanctuary and presided over a special prayer to the Madonna of Lourdes; Regina Coeli and other hymns for the Holy Virgin were sung during the recitation of the rosary.
“This sanctuary is the first to be dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes in the diocese of Jerusalem (Editor’s note: the diocese of Jerusalem embraces Palestine, Israel, Jerusalem, Jordan and Cyprus). This devotion is not new in our area, it is known in the families since generations. In general, our Christians vow a great devotion to the Holy Virgin. The Sanctuary at Anjara, including an ancient grotto that sheltered Jesus and His Holy Mother on their trip between Galilea and Jerusalem, where the Holy Virgin shed tears of blood, welcomes every year thousands of faithful on their yearly pilgrimage which is a festive moment in the whole area”.
“Naour, said the Patriarch, is a town which hosts many Christian Iraki refugees in Jordan. This sanctuary is henceforth an occasion for local Christians to meet them and bring them relief”
Jordan, land of peace and coexistence in this torn Middle East, is also a land of hospitality, of enrichment, of meetings between believers, Christians, and devotions.