04/12/2005, 00.00
JORDAN - VATICAN
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Tributes to the Peoples' Pope

by Hana Mouasher

Amman (AsiaNews) – Jordanians flocked in their thousands to the Latin Patriarchate, which represents the Catholic Church in Jordan, to offer their condolences. 

Royalty, diplomats, political leaders and ordinary people, Catholics or not, came to express their sorrow at the loss of such a holy man. 

Memorial masses were held to honour the Pope in many churches and attracted thousands of mourners. 

Solemn vespers were conducted on Sunday, attended by well over a thousand people, where the Apostolic Nuncio spoke of the Pope's achievements and aspirations.

King Abdullah II of Jordan expressed his personal sadness over the passing of Pope John Paul II, and flew to Rome accompanied by his wife Queen Rania to attend the Pontiff's funeral. 

His Majesty's participation in the funeral came in recognition of His Holiness's great contribution to spreading tolerance, engaging in dialogue and defending human rights throughout the world, as well as bringing together followers of different religions.

A statement by the press office of the Jordanian king recalled the Pope's trip to Jordan during his pilgrimage to Christianity's Holy Places for the 2000 Jubilee.

Pope John Paul II celebrated a solemn mass in Amman Stadium attended by 70,000 people during which 2,000 Jordanian children were given their First Communion.

In recalling John Paul II's historic visit to the Hashemite Kingdom, the statement stressed how the event brought "hope for the Palestinians, security for the Israelis, comfort for the Lebanese and prayer for the Iraqis".

"Pope's presence in Jordan was a testament for his commitment to justice and peace for all," it further read.

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