After serious consideration, Roger decides to purchase rosaries to dip in the holy Jordan River. He selects a rustic wooden one for himself, and a beautiful blue one to be given as a very special birthday gift to our granddaughter Lindsey.
Before leaving for Dubai, I decide to take only one and leave the others in safe keeping. Cousin Mary Keller has Nanny’s rosary, and she is now the official chief “bead clicker” of the family. The blue one, which is my favorite keepsake, I leave with granddaughter Lindsey who promises to pray a rosary once in awhile for me and her Poppa Roger.
We reach the baptismal site by riding in the back of an old, open-air truck converted to accommodate very hard, wood benches for sightseers. Our group is comprised of an older couple from New Zealand with their handsome, stocky 20-something son, another older couple from a Baltic country, two young women from Germany.
Bethany-Beyond-The-Jordan was discovered after the 1994 peace treaty was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Territory. As they were clearing land mines from the area, they uncovered the ruins of churches, caves, wells and baptism pools. Scholars were summoned and they determined that this was indeed the site of Jesus’ baptism. In 2000, Pope John Paul II officiated at an open air Mass to sanctify this claim. A mosaic on the wall commemorates this event. The site is now overseen by the Jordanian Ministry of Antiquities. Bethany-Beyond-The-Jordan is considered one of the most important recent archeological discoveries in Jordan.