St Mariam Bawardi – joyful Parish feast day in Nazareth
GALILEE – Considering the many festivities organized all over the Holy Land in honor of the two new Palestinian saints, it might occur to us to paraphrase the famous quotation of St Bernard: “Da Maria numquam satis” (Of Our Lady, there is never enough). Likewise, for St Mariam Bawardi, not many celebrations will be held.
On Sunday 30th of August 2015, the parish of the Annunciation of Nazareth celebrated the liturgical feast day of St Mariam Bawardi. Being the first celebration after the canonization, Parish Priest Fr Amjad Sabbara, ofm, wanted it to be popular and comprehensive; that it takes place at the level of the parish, at the Basilica of the Annunciation, and on Sunday. Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo was called to chair the celebration; many faithful and congregations were invited to attend.
It is worth noting the presence of a delegation of Carmelite nuns of the monasteries of Nazareth and Haifa, of the contemplative Sisters of Zion of Ain Karem, large numbers of worshippers, many of them from the Philippines, and young people from Galilee, getting back from the recent Franciscan march.
Mgr G.B. Marcuzzo’s homily revolved around the typical characteristics of the holiness of Mariam Bawardi, highlighting the aspects of time, space and humanity in her life and her spirituality. He then spoke of “sanctity proper to the Holy Land : a sanctity of Nazareth (Mary), a sanctity of Bethlehem (Joseph), a sanctity of Jerusalem (of Jesus Crucified and Risen). He applied these three characteristics on Christians of nowadays in the Holy Land and in the Middle East.
At the conclusion of the mass, they all recited the prayer of St Mariam to the Holy Spirit, a prayer that has become very popular, before venerating the relics of the “Flower of Galilee”. A brotherly exchange of wishes, congratulations and mabrouk took place after the Mass, in the courtyard of the Basilica, while the youngsters distributed among the faithful a series of twelve souvenir-stamps which the Israel Post had issued on the occasion of the canonization.
Text : our correspondent in Nazareth
Photos : A.K.