Jubilee opens at Shrine of Our Lady of Harissa

The sanctuary was built in 1908. Every year at least 2 million pilgrims arrive, both Christians and Muslims. "A meeting place between East and West".

Harissa (AsiaNews) - The shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon, with the statue that dominates the entire coastline of the country from the summit of Harissa, begins tomorrow to celebrate her Jubilee. Opened in 1908, it celebrates 110 years.

The solemn opening mass will be celebrated tomorrow at 11 am in the great basilica. Then there will be a procession for the opening of the "holy door" of the sanctuary, which will remain open throughout the year, welcoming pilgrims.

The shrine of Harissa is the destination of many pilgrimages by Christians, but also by Muslims, who honor the Virgin Mary, mentioned in the Koran. Muslim women visit the shrine, light candles and offer flowers and money especially to ask for the grace of having a child.

Fr. Khalil Alwan, vice-rector of the sanctuary, in an interview with the Orient-Le Jour, affirms that the basilica "is a meeting place between East and West". Every year at least 2 million pilgrims arrive.

In 2016, with a solemn mass in Harissa, the Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai consecrated Lebanon and the Middle East to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (photo 3).