Faithful from the Holy Land ask for the Queen of Palestine’s blessing

(FMC) The image of the Queen of Palestine is at the top of the shrine that blesses visitors and attracts hundreds of worshipers to the shrine in Deir Rafat every year. The sanctuary is located 26 kilometers west of Jerusalem. 

The week before the celebration, people were hard at work so that everything would be ready. Youth, children and entire families wanted to be present to hear the words of the Patriarch after his visit to Rome. 
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Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem 
During the Synod that took place in Rome, we talked about the many challenges facing the Christian family in the world, and especially the Christian family in our country, in Palestine and the Middle East. No doubt we both agreed that the holy family, the family of Nazareth, the model that all the families of the world should use as their reference and especially families in Palestine… the holy family of Nazareth with its peace, love and faith in God and in the future. The Virgin Mary went through very difficult situations that she did not understand. She suffered and participated in Jesus’ suffering from the beginning up to the cross. 

This year, Christians in Bethlehem, Palestine, and other nearby towns attended the celebration, thanks to a special permit granted by the Israeli authorities, and this has also allowed this couple to be present with their daughter in order for them ask for the Mother of God’s blessing. 

ISSAM JARAISAH – Elelectrician (husband)
We came from the province of Bethlehem, from Beit Sahour. All of the Christians from Palestine took part in the feast of Our Lady of Palestine. So, in this way, we are proving that this is our land.

ROSE JARAISAH – Social Worker
We come every year because we love to celebrate and see all the Christian families who come from all over Palestine. 

WALID ZAHER – Man from Nazareth 
She (the Virgin Mary) is our mother. For adults, the youth, the elderly, for the whole world, she is the virgin Mary. We love her so much and we honor her. Her name is glorified by Jesus Christ. 

Daughter- MIRNA BILAN – Student
I said the Hail Mary and I prayed for her like everyone else. 
I asked that peace may reign over the world and that there may be love and peace. 

WALID ZAHER – Man from Nazareth
…taking away our rights in the world…She will certainly help up so that good may overcome evil. 

In his homily, Msgr. Twal spoke about the challenges of families in a time when the number of those who emigrate is growing; he also talked about the daily suffering of a people who are prisoners in their own country, and of the wall that divides people, making dialogue and the possibility of peace difficult. (images of the Patriarch during the homily). 

After the celebration, as the tradition that preceded the opening of the shrine in 1948 dictates, the Patriarch led the procession of hundreds of faithful who followed him in an outward sign of faith and love for the mother of Jesus.