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Our Lady of Mount Lebanon



The Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon (known as Sayyidat Lubnān in Lebanese and Notre Dame du Liban in French) stands as a significant Marian sanctuary and pilgrimage destination in Lebanon. Its inception in 1908 fulfilled the vision of Patriarch Elias to establish a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary, welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

The centerpiece of the shrine is a majestic, 13-ton French-made bronze statue of the Virgin Mary, painted white, standing atop a hill in the village of Harissa, 650 meters above sea level, approximately 20 km north of Beirut. Erected in 1907, the statue comprises seven sections assembled atop a stone base, boasting dimensions of 8.5 meters in height, with a diameter of 5.5 meters. Surrounding the statue is a stone base with a bottom perimeter of 64 meters and an upper perimeter of 12 meters. Inaugurated alongside the shrine in 1908, the statue has since become an iconic symbol and a revered pilgrimage site.

Under the administration of the Maronite Patriarchate, the shrine has been entrusted to the Congregation of Maronite Lebanese Missionaries since its establishment in 1904. It holds profound significance as one of the world's foremost shrines honoring Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Notably, the shrine features a monumental bronze statue weighing 15 tons, standing at a height of 8.5 meters with a diameter of five meters, depicting the Virgin Mary extending her hands towards Beirut.

Drawing millions of faithful pilgrims, including Christians and Muslims, from around the globe, the shrine commemorated its 50th jubilee in 1954, coinciding with the centenary of the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception. During these festivities, Pope Pius XII dispatched Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, later Pope John XXIII, as his representative to Lebanon. In 1997, Pope John Paul II made a historic visit to Our Lady of Lebanon, further affirming its significance.

Reflecting the deep devotion of Lebanese Christians, Druze, and Muslims to Mary, the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch bestowed upon her the title of "Queen of Lebanon" upon the shrine's completion in 1908. Perched above the bay of Jounieh, the shrine has emerged as a prominent tourist attraction, accessible via the Téléphérique gondola lift from the city of Jounieh to Harissa.

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