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Prince Charles is bringing back water from the River Jordan for royal baptisms

PRINCE CHARLES AND CAMILLA

Khalil MAZRAAWI | AFP

Zelda Caldwell - published on 11/17/21 - updated on 11/17/21

The water was taken from the site in Jordan where, it is believed, Jesus was baptized by John.

During their tour of Jordan, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were given 72 bottles of water taken from the River Jordan to be used for baptizing royal babies, reported the Daily Mirror.

It’s a long-standing tradition in the Royal Family to baptize babies with water taken from the site where John the Baptist was said to have baptized Jesus.

A tradition of royal christenings

According to the report, Prince Harry and Meghan’s son Archie was the last member of the royal family to be baptized with holy water from the Jordan.  The Jordanian royal court usually sends the Queen and her family bottles of water for that purpose, but since Prince Charles and Camilla happened to be there on a personal pilgrimage, they arranged to bring the holy water home themselves.

The Director General of the Baptism Site, Rustom Mkhjian explained, “This time the Embassy people asked for a few dozens [bottles] of Holy water and we provided them with five dozen, six dozen.

“They said we wanted it for children to be baptized later on. Future baptisms, yes.

“It is pure water blessed from the spot where Jesus was baptized.

“It is holy and blessed from this particular spot in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” he said, according to the Daily Mirror’s report.

There is speculation that the new supply of water, which will be sanitized and blessed, could be used on Princess Beatrice’s daughter Sienna, born in September, and Princess Eugenie’s son August, born in February. 

The real site of the baptism of Jesus

Earlier this year the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, reaffirmed that the location of the baptism of Jesus was on the eastern side of the River Jordan, in Jordan.

Some 25 years ago, archaeologists discovered the church foundations from the Romans and Byzantines at the site, known as “Bethany Beyond Jordan.” It is believed that they were built to commemorate Christ’s baptism.

A chapel on the Israeli side of the border is a popular pilgrimage site, and was recently demined by the Israeli government, but Archbishop Pizzaballa said that it is not the actual site of Jesus’ baptism. 

“It is clear from the historical, archaeological, and indeed all the points of view that the actual site of Jesus Christ’s baptism (in the Jordan River) is on the Jordanian side. Traditionally, historically and according to the Bible, it is on this side,” he said, as reported by Catholic News Service.

In 2015 UNESCO named the site in Jordan a World Heritage Site.

Tags:
EnglandHoly LandSacraments
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