About one hundred young people took part in the Franciscan March in Jordan, from 27 June to 2 July on the topic “Today with me in Paradise.” The March is a walk for youngsters aged between 18 and 33: a human, physical and spiritual experience. It is organized every year by the Young People’s Pastoral department of the Friars Minor. In Jordan, it has now reached its ninth edition. The youngsters come from various cities and villages in Jordan and also include some Iraqi immigrants.
On the way
There were about five hours of walking every day on the march. The group left from Amman and stopped at Ajlun and Al Wahadine, until they arrived in Shatana. During the week, the youngsters had experiences of sharing, friendship, mutual aid, listening, silence and prayer. They met the nuncio in Jordan, Mons. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, and the Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins (the Patriarchate also includes Jordan) His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, with whom they were able to dialogue. Both wanted to ensure that young people feel they are part of the Church and communicate the hope and confidence that the Churches places in them.
In the spirit of St Francis
Thanks to the Franciscan friars accompanying them on the march, they got to know St Francis and his charisma better. Amongst the particularly significant episodes of his life there is that of 2 August 1216 in Porziuncola di Assisi (Italy). With the words “I want to send you all to Paradise,” Francis announced the “Pardon of Assisi,” i.e. indulgence for all those who, from that day onwards, went on a pilgrimage to that place, where he died.
The march of life
At the end of the march, the youngsters asked to be able to continue to meet, in the spirit of St Francis. Already during his earthly life, Francis had an experience of Paradise. This is why the Franciscans try to help the youngsters to read their lives in the light of Paradise, which is Jesus Christ.
Fr. Diab Roshrosh