Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi arrived in Jordan on Monday July 23 on a visit to last until Thursday July at invitation of Prime Minister Omar Razzaz. During his stay in Jordan, he will visits to a number of Christian sites and conduct meetings with the Prime Minster Razzes, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Lina Annab, and Heads of the Council of the Churches in Jordan.
On his arrival at Queen Alia International Airport, Patriarch Rahi arrived at the St. Charbel Maronite Monastery on the Airport Road in Amman where he celebrated Mass which was concelebrated by parish priest Ghazi Khoury and number of priests. In attendance were Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Lina Annab, Lebanese Ambassador to Jordan Tracy Chamoun, a number of public figures and a large number of believers.
Upon his arrival to the Saint Charbel Monastery, Cardinal Rahi highlighted the necessity to preserve inter-Arab unity and steadfastness. He maintained that the exchanged visits between Lebanon and Jordan only capitalize the friendship and permanent communication, especially through the Lebanese and Jordanian diasporas.
“We always pray for the Kingdom of Jordan to remain a holy prosperous land; May God protect it in this difficult time from,” Rahi said.
He added: “We are called to preserve our unity and steadfastness, as well as our role in our Arab nation, which embraces the holy religions.”
PRINCE EL HASSAN MEETS WITH CARDINAL RAHI
His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal, Chairman of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, also received on Monday, July 23, Patriarch Cardinal Rahi and the accompanying delegation.
Prince El Hassan pointed out to the efforts of the Maronite Church in spreading the Arabic language and literature through the establishment of the first printing press in the Middle East in the 16th century, stressing the need to restore the period of enlightenment and to renew of the Arab discourses leading to renaissance that began in the 9th century by renowned Arab figures such as Yazigi, Bustani and others.
Cardinal Rahi expressed pride in the Lebanese-Jordanian relations as well as the relationship between the Maronite Church and Jordan. He also praised the humanitarian efforts exerted by HRH Prince El Hassan including those related to enhancing interfaith dialogue.
During their meeting, Cardinal Rahi and Prince El Hassan discussed the challenges facing the region, especially the issue of refugees and the current developments in the region. They also stressed the importance of respecting diversity and differences in the Mashriq region, which is the cradle of civilizations. They also underlined the need to focus on our common humanity and the values shared with other cultures and religions.
The meeting was attended by the Jordanian minister of tourism and antiquities and the Lebanese ambassador to the Kingdom.
Cardinal Rahi is the 77th Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, and head of the Maronite Church, a position he has held since 15 March 2011, succeeding Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir. Rahi was made a Cardinal on 24 November 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.
He was born in Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi was born in Himlaya, Matn District, Lebanon on 25 February 1940. He attended Collège Notre Dame de Jamhour, a Jesuit school in Lebanon. He entered the Mariamite Maronite Order on 31 July 1962 and was ordained as a priest on 3 September 1967. From 1967 to 1975 he was responsible for the Arabic programs of Vatican Radio. In 1975, he received a PhD in canon and civil law. He also studied for three years at Lateran University in Rome.