LADY OF LEBANON

Lady of Lebanon

Lebanon is a land of exceptional beauty and history. Situated on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the Lebanon mountain range rises majestically from the sea to snow-capped mountain peaks that reach over 10,000 feet. Nestled in the mountains in the north are the famous Cedars of Lebanon, often referred to in the Bible, such as in the Books of Kings, Psalms, Song of Songs, and the Prophet Isaiah.
Jesus and Mary visited Lebanon during his public ministry.

Lebanon has a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and she has become known there as Our Lady of Lebanon. For, while she was living, she visited there with her Son! There is a sanctuary in the south of Lebanon dedicated to the Virgin of Mantara, a place where Mary stayed awaiting her Son, when Jesus went to Tyre and Sidon. The Basilica of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church is located in Harissa, a small town about thirty minutes north of Beirut, the capital city. The Blessed Virgin Mary was named the Queen of Lebanon by the Maronite Patriarch in 1908 upon completion of the Basilica. The Shrine was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1997. Located between Jounieh on the coast and Bkerke, Harissa is surrounded by numerous churches and monasteries.

Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre.
And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice.
But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit
immediately came and fell at His feet. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race.
Mark 7:24-26

Jesus was the first to evangelize the Gentiles when he visited Tyre and performed a miracle for the Syro-Phoenician woman's daughter, as noted in Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30. He then went by way of Sidon on to the Sea of Galilee (Mark 7:31). The Gospel of John 2:1-12 describes Jesus performing his first miracle, when he turned water into wine at the request of his mother Mary at the wedding feast of Qana in Galilee. The Qana southwest of Tyre in Lebanon today was located in the region of Galilee at the time of Jesus. The church historian Eusebius of Caesarea in 339 wrote that Qana of Galilee is the Qana south of Sidon. But the fact that Jesus went down to Capernaum (John 2:12) suggests the wedding at Qana took place in Qana of Lebanon, for Qana of Palestine is south of Capernaum, and Jesus would have had to go up to Capernaum were it Qana of Palestine! There is a grotto in Qana, Lebanon with large stone water jars as well as a sculpture symbolic of Jesus and the Twelve Apostles.

Harissa - Lebanon Photos by Hussein Kefel