14 November 2012, 15:32
Patriarch Kirill sanctifies water baptism site of Jesus
Jordan, November 14, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia performed great sanctification of water in the Jordan River on the territory of the Russian Pilgrims House.
"The great sanctification of water reveals to us the mystery of what occurred through the birth, suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord. People got the opportunity to use God's power in addition to their natural forces," the Patriarch said after the ceremony.
The combination of "human freedom and God's presence in the world creates history and those who ignore it make a big mistake," he said.
Patriarch Kirill said Christ, who was without sin, came to be baptized together with sinners. He did not need to be baptized, but "he was one of us" and he did what he had to do because he was both man and God.
"This indicates a great mystery of God's embodiment, the combination of God's and human things in the person of the Lord and in the subsequent life of the Church," the Patriarch said.
The decision to provide a land site in the baptism site reserve in the Jordan for the construction of the Russian Pilgrim House was made on July 4, 2006 on the initiative of Jordan's King Abdallah II. The site, which has an area of over 9,000 square meters, which leads directly to the river, was provided to Russia by the Kingdom of Jordan free of charge for unlimited use in February 2007 during the official visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Jordan.
The land site is near the Baptism Site of Jesus, where John the Forerunner baptized Jesus. In the period between the fifth century and early twelfth century, five Christian churches built in memory of Jesus' baptism replaced each other there.
The Russian Pilgrim House has a hotel with 42 rooms, a church, a dining room, and a house for honored guests. The site became Russia's property in 2012.
On June 26, 2012, a pilgrim house and a chapel located on the site were sanctified by Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem. Vladimir Putin visited the pilgrim house later that day.