Local religious and faithful pray the Rosary before the icon of Our Lady who brings down walls

Posted on Nov 20, 2019

Photo: Giampaolo Prampolini

Photo: Giampaolo Prampolini

BETHLEHEM – On Friday, October 25, 2019, several local religious and faithful gathered in front of the Separation Wall in Bethlehem to pray the Rosary before the icon of Our Lady who brings down walls. The initiative was promoted by the Union of Religious Superiors of Women in the Holy Land.

October 25 is the liturgical date of the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Palestine. On this very day – which preceded the traditional Deir Rafat celebrations that took place on Sunday for pastoral reasons – the groups of Sisters of Bethlehem gathered in prayer in front of the image of “Our Lady who brings down walls”, symbolically depicted on the reinforced concrete wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem.

The prayer was presided over by Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, in presence of some of Emmanuel’s Sisters, the Little Sisters of Jesus, the Sisters of Saint Dorothea, the Sisters of the female branch of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, the Sisters of Saint Brigitta and Franciscan Elisabeth of Padua who runs the Caritas Baby Hospital. Also present were the Salesian Brothers as well as the Brothers of the Christian Schools who run Bethlehem University, Father Rafiq Khoury and some local laypersons and Italian pilgrims from Modena.

The origins of this initiative go back to the first years of the second Intifada. With the construction of the wall and the intensification of hostilities, this event was interrupted before it could resume this year.

The icon of Our Lady who brings down walls it was made in 2010 by Ian Knowles, former principal of the Bethlehem Icon Centre, in response to the desire of local and International faithful to pray before an icon that would bring peace and hope for the demolition of the wall.