Christians in the Holy Land venerate Our Lady of Palestine

Deir Rafat, Israel (Tuesday, 10.28.2014, Gaudium Press) With a fervent procession and a Solemn Eucharist presided by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Boutros Ibrahim Twal, believers solemnly honored the Queen of Palestine, on Sunday, October 26, in the streets of Deir Rafat.

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Faithful from the Holy Land gathered to
venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary
– Photo Andrés Bergamini and Latin
Patriarchate of Jerusalem

The Marian sanctuary is about 35 kilometres east of Jerusalem, about midway between the Holy City and Tel Aviv, near Beit Shemesh in the Soreq Valley. It was built in 1927 at the initiative of His Beatitude the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Luigi Barlassina, who instituted the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Palestine. In 1933, the feast day was approved by the Holy See, which invited the faithful to beg the Virgin Mary for special protection for her native Land.

The faithful gathered under a warm sunny weather and walked amid the vineyards which characterize very much the region.

The celebration in honour of the Mother of God is organized by the Sisters of Bethlehem, who welcome pilgrims who come from various parts of the Holy Land, especially from Jerusalem and its surroundings, as well as from Galilee. This procession has a special meaning for Catholics because of the tensions and difficult social situations in the region. As His Eminence Fouad Twal mentioned they are placed under the protection of the Blessed Virgin.

According to the Patriarchate over two thousand people gathered on this occasion. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem expressed his joy to be among the faithful on that day and said that he urged the faithful to put themselves under the mantle of Our Lady of Palestine, specially asking for the gift of peace in the region and in particular the protection of families so that their unity may be preserved.

With information from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

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