Blessed Mariam Bawardy honoured in her own village
According to liturgical calendar, the feastday falls on 26 August. But in her village, faithful preferred a more appropriate date, the day she was proclaimed Blessed. In fact on 13 November 1983 St Pope John Paul II proclaimed the “young Arab girl” blessed, in presence of Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, J.J. Beltritti, Greek Catholic Patriarch, Mgr Hakim, many Carmelites and faithful from the Holy Land.
The celebration in the Church of the “Sermon of the Mount” of Ibillin was at the same time the first pastoral visit of the new Melkite Bishop of Galilea, Mgr George Bakouni. The latter presided over the mass, concelebrated with Mgr Elias Shakkour, Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Fr. Michel Tomeh, parish priest, Fr Mudhar and Fr Francois Shamieh.
After Mass a traditional procession was held, attended by many faithful, all the way until the Parish church of the village, passing through the site of the Palestinian Blessed native house. Of the house there remains only an ancient ark; the present owner added on top a chain of other arks of the same ancient style, but without raising walls. Preceded by a huge icon of Blessed Maryam Bawardy, and a large crowd behind, and by children wearing special dresses for the occasion, the long procession was animated by local choir singing.
Before and after the procession everybody was wondering: will she be canonized? How does the miracle process go on? Bishops and priests could only answer: “What we know for sure is that the miracle itinerary reached a fairly good point. Will she be canonized soon? Inshallah. More importantly for us is to follow her example of sainthood”
Text: our correspondent in Galilea