A day to remember… the inauguration of Our Lady of Lourdes grotto in Na’our

Posted on May 4, 2020

We want to foster local tourism so as to ameliorate the tourist sector particularly to Christian pilgrimage sites. -Fr. Rif’at Bader

By Munir Bayouk/ en.abouna.org

It is a day to be remembered all the time. May 2, 2020 marks the 5th anniversary of the inauguration of the first shrine in Jordan dedicated to the Virgin Mary, that bears the name of Our Lady of Lourdes at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Na’our township, south of Amman. This grotto has been added to several shrines and pilgrimage sites in Jordan.

 

 

Marking the launch of the shrine, a festive Mass was celebrated at the time with the participation of Acting Apostolic Nuncio Monsignor Roberto Kuna, Sacred Heart of Jesus Church parish priest Fr. Rif’at Bader, a number of priests, and large masses of people from various parts of the Kingdom.

At the outset of the Mass, Fr. Bader said that in his capacity as Sacred Heart of Jesus Church parish priest, he presents this shrine to be a source for local religious tourism and to serve as an internationally renowned site. Stating that tourism to our beloved country had recently witnessed a sharp decline, he added that “we want to foster local tourism so as to ameliorate the tourist sector particularly to Christian pilgrimage sites.”

He said: “We convey thanksgiving and praise to God in the first place and to the Virgin Mother in the second place for having the opportunity to launch the first shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary in our beloved Kingdom which bears the name of Our Lady of Lourdes thus serving as a twin pilgrimage site to Our Lady of the Mountain in Anjara. The French city of Lourdes impresses all those who visit it, those who visit it become different persons. People who have never visited Lourdes have a special yearning to do so. Today, the dream comes true. Come on, visit Lourdes without visas, tickets or even without having to go to airports.”

He added: “ As numerous miracles took place at French Lourdes, the great dream is to have this shrine contribute to bringing about the awaited recovery in our dear Orient, namely termination of wars, spreading peace, respecting one another, and abstaining from involving the name of God in wars, killings and destruction.”

Concluding by saying “With Mary we get more energetic”, he conveyed thanks in the name of the parishioners to all those who contributed to this Marian shrine, the first of its kind. He said that the company that designed the structure belongs to parishioner Engineer Nisreen Atef Ni’mat. He also thanked the donors from Naour and outside Jordan, namely friends from San Francisco, Chicago and Abu Dhabi.

Then, Fr. Ala’ Alamat read out a message of blessing sent by Bishop of Lourdes Nicolas Brouwet and addressed to Fr. Bader. An excerpt of the message reads: “We have received, in Lourdes, with great joy the news relevant to the launching of a shrine dedicated to the Lady of Lourdes at the Naour parish in Jordan. We were greatly delighted when we learned that this shrine, dedicated to the Lady of Lourdes, is the first of its kind in dear Jordan. We hope that God will overwhelm you with all the grace we receive at Lourdes.” The bishop of Lourdes blessed the launching of the first shrine in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan that bears the name of his diocese. He also asked the Almighty God to have this shrine becoming a sign of unity and communion among all Christians in various parts of the world, and a place of spiritual pilgrimage to all those who wish to consolidate their Christian life, and a popular destination for the healing of people suffering from physical and spiritual ailments.

The city of Lourdes, located in the southwestern France, is viewed as one of the major pilgrimage sites worldwide. It is expected that this new shrine will be visited by several local and friendly delegations and be listed among the major sites for touristic attraction, and holy pilgrimage to the beloved Kingdom of Jordan.

The Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Amman carried out live transmission of the inauguration via the television and the site of abouna.org website.

At the end of the Holy Mass, large masses of people made a ceremonial tour towards the site during which they raised candles, similar to those raised at French Lourdes’ yards, accompanied by Marian hymns and musical performances by scout bands. Prayers were also said dedicating Jordan, countries of the Orient and the world to the immaculate heart of the Virgin Mary.