The Papal Visits
Three Popes have made pilgrimage to the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ, ‘Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan’. First, Pope John Paul II visited the Baptism Site in March 2000. Then, Pope Benedict XVI visited in May 2009, when he also blessed the foundation stones of the new Latin and Greek Melkite Churches. In May 2014, Pope Francis also made this important Christian pilgrimage. Pope Francis blessed Jordan, and made it the first stop on his three-country pilgrimage to Catholic holy sites. Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to the Holy Land marks 50 years of Papal visits to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the 40th anniversary of the Vatican’s Commission for Relations with Islam.