For the 8th consecutive year, with the blessing of the Maronite Patriarch, from 16th to 25th of June every year “Friends of Mary Queen of Peace” association is organizing the prayer novena “Praying with Mary for Lebanon” which is a 24/24 hours novena of praying the rosary, fasting (nine days or one day according to a personal choice) and adoration of The Blessed Sacrament. Each year it is taking place in another region of Lebanon and in the churches designated by local bishops.
On the day of the Anniversary, June 25, the bishop is presiding a solemn Holy Mass. Before Mass, the faithful pray the Rosary, and after Mass, there is a procession with the Blessed Sacrament on the streets.
“Friends of Mary Queen of Peace” association started this novena in 2001.
In 2002, the Holy Mass on June 25, took place in the Basilica of “Our Lady of Lebanon” – Harissa, and was presided by Mons. Antoine Nabil Andari who consecrated all the regions of Lebanon to Our Lady.
The novena became a permanent event of national importance to which the faithful contribute out of love for God, responding to Our Lady’s call and out of love for their country - Lebanon.
In the year 2003, the novena took place in Our Lady’s church in Adonis – Jbeil and the closing was in St. Elias – Antelias. It was presided by the local bishop, Mons. Bechara Al Rahi.
In 2004, it was in St. Louis Cathedral – Bab Idriss – Beirut and the closing was in St. George Cathedral. It was presided by the local bishop, Mons. Boulos Matar, and the procession of the Blessed Sacrament was in down town.
In 2005, the novena took place in “Our Lady of Lebanon” Basilica – Harissa. The final Mass was presided by Mons. Antoine Nabil Andari, and the procession was on the main road from the Basilica to the square of the Shrine.
In 2006, the novena took place again in “Our Lady of Lebanon” Basilica – Harissa. The novena was opened by Mons. Antoine Nabil Andari in the basilica, and ended by Mons. Béchara Al Rahi in the same Basilica. .
In 2007, the novena took place in St. Elias – Antelias and ended in Our Lady’s church Adonis-Jbeil.
Permanent Eucharistic adoration during the Novena can happen thanks to the continuity of numerous prayer groups which make a chain.
The continuous prayer of the Rosary is organized thanks to the faithful who responded already during the first novena and thanks to inscriptions by phone or internet.
The number of persons committed to the novena was 2.500 persons in 2001, and 9.000 persons in 2002, and larger numbers in 2003, 2004, 2005. The numbers are growing year after year. Since 2004, the number of subscribers through the internet exceeded 60.000, without mentioning the contribution of those who were not inscribed, and of those who were following the Novena through the catholic television Télé Lumière and Nour Sat.
Program of the Novena, June 2008:
This year, the novena is under the patronage of H.E. Mgr. Antoine Nabil Andari who will be opening the novena.
It is taking place simultaneously in two Lebanese regions, in St. Elijah’s church in Antelias, and in the Shrine of Our lady of Zahle and Bekaa in Zahle. Same programme et the same time, every evening from 6 pm to 9 pm: Rosary, Holy Mass, Adoration, procession with the Blessed Sacrament.
On Monday, 16th of June H.E. Mgr. Antoine Nabil Andari who will be opening the Novena at the Shrine of Our lady of Zahle and Bekaa in Zahle.
On Wednesday, June 25, Mons. Antoine Nabil Andari is closing the Novena at the esplanade of the sacred heart church in Adonis-Jbeil.
The Blessed Sacrament is exposed day and night during the whole Novena in Our Lady’s Church in Adonis-Jbeil, and from 6 pm to 12 pm in St. Elijah's church in Antelias.
For all additional information you may visit the Home page of the Association “Friends of Mary Queen of Peace” www.prayforlebanon.org (in Arabic and in English).