On May 6, 2010 the image of our Lady of the Mount in Anjara has cried tears of blood, becoming part of a holy route in Jordan, visited by thousands of pilgrims a year.
It is believed, as it is situated in the hills of Gilead east of the Jordan valley that Jesus and his mother Mary passed through the town and rested there in a cave. To commemorate this, Father Yousef Salmeh Nammat has built a shrine to Our Lady of the Mountain next to the school. This was one of the four pilgrimage sites, designated in the year 2000, by the Catholic Churches in the Middle East. The main pilgrimage takes place each year on the third Friday of June, when over 5.000 pilgrims descend on the town. The city of Anjara, near Ajloun, has a population of approximately 20,000 Muslims and 1,200 Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox. The Parish “The Visitation of Our Lady” takes care of the Sanctuary of “Our Lady of the Mount”, which sits on a 16.000 square meters site.
Currently this mission is assisted by two different communities of the Incarnate Word: apostolic religious sisters and priests who attend to the parish activities. The sisters and the fathers assist the Girls and Boys Homes, and there is a primary school with around 200 students, with about 38% of the same from Muslim families and other orthodox Christians are also learning at the school.
Currently the parish is home to around 45 people; 10 are Priests, Nuns, and staff, and 35 are children. Following the development of a growth plan for the parish, a project proposal was developed to meet the fast growing demand for space, especially concerning the children’s home.The parish priest of Anjara, who is responsible for the school, KG, three children homes, the prison ministry, youth and family movements and supporting to other neighboring parishes, such as Mafrak, Houson, Erbit and Swefieh.
Also within the premises, there is a center for rehabilitation for disable children (OLOPC branch) offering treatment free of charge to 20 needed children. In addition to that, there are three homes for children and t-agers residents, who are orphans, abandoned or victims of family violence.The main beneficiaries are: 20 youngs boys who will be residing in the new building, the school and kindergarten students, the parishioners and their families, the priests and sister community, employees of the parish, visitors, pilgrims and the local community as a whole.
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Among the verdant Mounts of Gilead, we find the small province of Ajloun, which is of great importance because of its past history. It is situated 75 Km North of Amman and just about 20 Km West of Jerash, ancient capital of the Decapolis. The Mounts of Gilead were the location of different events of the Old Testament.
Video presentation of the House for Boys in Anjara
The name of Our Lady of the Mount is owed to the region in which the Sanctuary is situated, the famous Mounts of Gilead. The image was brought from Italy. The Pastor of Anjara, Don Angelo Foresto, having seen the statue in Jerusalem, wanted it for his parish. It was the year 1932. The statue remained in a small chapel until the year 1954 when the parish church was built. It was in the 70s, when it was transferred to the grotto built by Father Yousef Naemat, where it is now found.
People began to visit the grotto and venerate Our Lady, and as the years passed, an ever-growing stream of faithful came. There were various graces that the Virgin Mary granted to the faithful who turned to her with trust-filled prayers. The image is a beautiful wooden statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with Jesus Child in her arms, who points to Heaven with one hand and with the other to Our Lady, indicating Mary’s role as the one who intercedes for us to God our Father.