The unexpected news confirming the audience arrived in late afternoon on Tuesday, filling the Focolare members with joy as they concluded the events of the past few days. Here are some of the first impressions shared by Maria Voce following the audience.
Maria Voce: “His Majesty welcomed us warmly, saying that he was honoured by our visit. He wanted to know how our work had gone on here in Jordan. Then I thanked him for the welcome we had been given by the country, underscoring that the reason for my visit was precisely to bring him my thanks and the thanks of all the Movement’s members. I was then able to inform him that we came from several countries, Christians and Muslims, all joined by the spirit of universal brotherhood. I thought it was important to highlight the fact that it was possible to hold a series of such meetings here in Jordan, precisely because of the spirit of openness and tolerance that characterizes this land.”
What was King Abdulla II’s reaction?
“He asked: ‘And us, what can we do to continue this work?’ He expressed his concern over the situation in the region, the great challenges, and he didn’t hide his concern for the Christian communities. But, above all, he told me that we had to face these crises and uncertainties together.”
Did he mention anything about his recent visit with Pope Francis?
“I told the king of our joy at seeing him in the photograph with the pope in the press. And he immediately stressed that it was one of the most beautiful visits that he has had in these years. Referring to the pope, he said: ‘We felt that we were brothers.’”
How did the visit conclude?
“I thanked him on my own part for having received me in audience and providing some visibility to our presence here. On his part he said that we could always turn to him at any moment and for whatever reason. ‘Ask for anything and we are at your disposal. I am your brother and I place myself at your disposal.”
By Roberto Catalano