The Apostolic Nunciature in Jordan held special prayers for peace on Wednesday, August 27. Present at the Mass, which was celebrated at Our Lady of Peace Center, were Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal, and a number of bishops, heads and representatives of Catholic churches, a number of ambassadors of friendly countries, and several displaced families.
In his homily, Latin Patriarchal vicar for Jordan Archbishop Maroun Lahham said: Our prayers today are for peace that comes from the Almighty God and not from the world.”
He pleaded that God's grace will effect radical changes in the hearts of the world leaders to attain goodness, justice and reconciliation, rather than be directed towards interests, and criminal trade including sale of arms.”
At the end of the prayers, which included readings from the Bible and hymns calling for love and peace, the apostolic nuncio made an address saying: I would like to thank all those who contributed to the visit of Pope Francis to Jordan in May. They made His Holiness feel very welcome by this beloved people as he felt as well the sincerity of the Christian churches to the successor of St. Peter, who came to this country to entrench faith and encourages us to continue the dialogue and fraternal exchange among religions.” The apostolic nuncio also thanked Monsignor Mauricio, who finished his services as adviser at the Apostolic Nunciature after serving for three years during which he prepared for the visit of Pope Francis.
Bishop Lingua also welcomed the new adviser Monsignor Roberto Cona. He said: "You have been sent to the people who have a strong sense of hospitality, and I am confident you will have a rich and good experience in Amman at a critical time this country and the entire region are passing through. He quoted the words of Pope Francis: "We cannot overcome violence through violence. We can overcome violence by peace. "
On his part, Monsignor Mauricio said in his farewell speech: "The Jordanian hospitality is known all over the world. Pope Francis clearly felt this hospitality during his visit on May 24." He stressed that the Pope chose Jordan as the first leg of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, noting that His Holiness warmly values the warm welcome he received by His Majesty King Abdullah II and the Jordanian people. "
He added: "After three years of stay in this wonderful country, I have become a strong supporter of Jordan as I highly value its culture and its wonderful people. I am confident that Monsignor Roberto will share the same ideas of mine in the coming three years because Jordan and the Jordanians are really aware how to be loved."
Then, the faithful invoked the Lord Jesus in several languages to preserve Jordan and its wise Hashemite leadership, and attain peace in the Middle East, particularly in Palestine, Iraq and Syria.
Following is the text of Monsignor Mauricio's farewell speech:
Beatitude, Excellencies, Ambassadors, dear priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ,
Allow me, first of all, to express my enormous gratitude to His Excellency Msgr. Giorgio Lingua, Apostolic Nuncio in Jordan, for his testimony of fidelity and love for the Holy Father and the Church. Dear Excellency, you have been an example of service, humility, prayer and charity in my priestly life. I will never forget this beautiful experience that we shared in these years. I assure you my prayers and, if you permit, my respectful friendship.
At the same time I would like to convey my gratitude to the Church in Jordan that has welcomed me with cordial love. I remember with gratefulness His Beatitude Msgr. Fouad Twal, H. E. Mons. Yasser Ayyash, H. E. Msgr. Maroun Lahham and H. E. Msgr. Salim Sayegh, along with all the dear priests and religious.
Three circumstances gather us here today: we would like to express our thanks and recognize all of you for your work and participation in preparing for the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis in Jordan; my farewell, because I’m completing my mission in this country; and to welcome the new Counselor of the Apostolic Nunciature, Msgr. Roberto Cona. Considering the delicate situation in the region and since we can’t organize a social reception to celebrate all three of these events, we thought that the best way to celebrate is by praying for peace in the region.
Jordanian hospitality is famous the world around. Pope Francis felt this hospitality keenly during his visit on May 24th. His Holiness chose this country as the first step of his pilgrimage in the Holy Land. I am sure that His Holiness cherishes fondly the great welcome extended by His Majesty and the entire Jordanian people, along with your warmth and generous participation at various events.
After three years in this marvelous Country, I have become a strong proponent of Jordan, the first herald of its culture and its lovely people. I will keep you in my heart. Pray for me and don’t forget that I will pray for you always. I’m sure that in the next three years, Msgr. Roberto will express the same sentiments because Jordan and Jordanians let themselves be loved.
Jesus, our Lord, began His public life in Jordan after his Baptism in the Jordan River. We have a tremendous amount of work and responsibility to announce and live the Gospel. May God bless the model of tolerance, harmony, peace and interreligious dialogue of Jordanians that it may become a reality in the entire region.
May Our Lady of Peace, the Regina Pacis, intercede for us and for peace in the land where Abraham received his calling from God, the land where Moses received the commandments, the land that saw the birth, the preaching, the death and the resurrection of the Lord, and the land that received Paul after his conversion on the way to Damascus, in other words: this Holy Land.