In the heart of the Middle East lies a land that transcends its geographical boundaries; a land not just of ancient history and breathtaking landscapes, but a spiritual haven where the divine and earthly seamlessly intertwine. Lebanon, as proclaimed by St. John Paul II, is more than a country – it is a message. A message of love, peace, and profound spirituality. Join me on a soul-stirring journey as I share the sacred moments and spiritual revelations encountered during our recent pilgrimage to this blessed land.
Day 1: Annaya - The Monastery of St. Charbel:
Our spiritual odyssey commenced in Annaya, where the sacred echoes of devotion resonated through the Monastery of St. Charbel. Walking in the footsteps of this revered saint, we visited the hermitage where he once lived, immersing ourselves in the contemplative solitude that shaped his spiritual journey.
Day 2: Mrs. Nohad El-Chami and Tele Lumiere:
The following day unfolded with a meeting of hearts and minds as we had the privilege of visiting Mrs. Nohad El-Chami, a living testament to faith and resilience. Later, at Tele Lumiere and Noursat Media Network, we participated in an interview, sharing the transformative power of spirituality in our lives.
Day 3: Holy Valley and Birthplace of St. Charbel:
Venturing into the Holy Valley, where ascetic fathers found refuge in caves, we felt the sacred energy enveloping us. Visiting the birthplace of St. Charbel and the cave where he prayed as a child deepened our connection to the roots of spirituality in this blessed land.
Day 4: Monastery of Mar Estephan Nehmeh and St. Rafqa:
A day steeped in miracles awaited as we visited the Monastery where the bodies of Mar Estephan Nehmeh and St. Nimatullah Kassab rested undecayed. The spiritual resonance of their presence lingered, inspiring awe and reverence. Later, we paid homage to St. Rafqa, whose sacred resting place radiated a profound sense of peace. As the pilgrimage continued, we traced the footsteps of St. Paul on his first mission, a journey intertwined with the divine. We also had the rare privilege of adoring the body of Jesus Christ alongside the patriarch of the Maronite Church, Bechara Boutros al-Rahi.
Final Day: Our Lady of Lebanon and the Monastery of St. Charbel:
The pinnacle of spiritual ecstasy awaited at Our Lady of Lebanon. The concluding day unfolded with a return to the Monastery of St. Charbel, where a sacred rhythm enveloped the air. First, a television interview, followed by a Holy Mass, marked the culmination of an unforgettable spiritual voyage.
Lebanon, a land where the sacred and the earthly converge, leaves an indelible mark on the soul. St. John Paul II's words resonate deeply as we reflect on the profound spiritual journey through the footsteps of saints and the embrace of divine presence. Lebanon, truly, is a living message of love and peace, a testament to the transformative power of spirituality in our lives. May this sacred pilgrimage inspire others to embark on their own journey of spiritual discovery and illumination.