The Month of Mary in the Streets of Jerusalem

The church was too small for the large crowd that gathered.
by Staff Writer | Source:

The month of May, consecrated to the Virgin Mary, comes to an end with the feast of the Visitation

The Month of Mary, preached by the pastor of the parish, Ibrahim Faltas ofm, brought together a large crowd of men, women and young people, from small children to adolescents, every day in the late afternoon. Among them were Christians of other denominations, whose traditions venerate the Mother of God differently. On this Visitation day, the church was too small for the large crowd that gathered, all the more so because the last Mass of May is habitually followed by a procession through the streets of the Old City’s Christian Quarter.

A delegation from the Republic of San Marino joined the crowd of the faithful. Joining the prayer of the local community, they bore witness to their solidarity and union with the Christians of the Holy Land, a union that was doubly sealed by their donation to the Nazareth sanctuary of a bronze bas relief of the Virgin and Child, and to Jerusalem a reproduction of it as a picture.
His Excellency Msgr. Fouad Twal, accompanied by the Father Custos, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, presided over the procession that began in the compound of the Franciscans’ Saint Saviour’s Monastery.

From Saint Saviour’s the procession was led by the faithful, followed by an icon of the Blessed Virgin carried by Msgr Twal and a statue of the Blessed Virgin on a canopied litter carried by 10th year students of the Holy Land School for girls, helped from time to time by the Scouts. The first stop was in the courtyard of the Brothers’ (of Saint Jean-Baptiste de Salle) School, from where they continued to the church of the Latin Patriarchate before regaining the courtyard of Saint Saviour’s. After a final Magnificat, Msgr Twal blessed the crowd.

After the benediction, the crowd shared out the flowers from the altar of the Virgin, wishing one another a joyous feast day.
Western pilgrims present along the route of the procession would surely have found this demonstration of Marian joy "folkloric". Here, it is simply natural. Throughout the East, the Virgin Mary holds a pre-eminent position. The Mother of God is also the mother of every believer and all believers in Mary are united in complete faith. She is venerated, she is loved as one’s own mother: she who encourages, consoles and accompanies every moment of family life. A beautiful lesson in faith, to tell the truth.

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