Miracles

December 3, 2007 at 11:19 am Leave a comment

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Malika took us to see the house/shrine Wednesday evening. Twenty-five years and two days earlier, a young Greek Orthodox bride (the new husband was Greek Catholic) noticed that her postcard of Mary and baby Jesus had begun to drip olive oil. Rumors began to circulate around the neighborhood, and in a short time, the security services came to investigate. They tore off a small corner of the icon, found nothing unusual, said God is Great, and left the woman with her icon, still standing in a bowl to catch the oil that continued to drip.

Over the years, the house has become a shrine. Mirna has reported visitations from Mary (who speaks in colloquial Arabic) and Jesus (who speaks fusha, the formal language). Pilgrims visit from many places to give thanks, to pray, to ask for Mary’s intercession. The pilgrims include Christians and Muslims alike.

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There is a sign asking that people do not contribute money, and balls of cotton with the special olive oil are freely given. We had just missed the anniversary celebration two days earlier, in which, we were told, hundreds of people held a candlelight procession and prayer service.

But we did get to see the shrine, in the central courtyard space of the family home just outside Damascus’ Bab Touma, in a small neighborhood called Soufanieh. Mirna still lives there with her husband and two children. People are welcome to come any time of the day or night. A small publishing phenomenon has described the olive oil, the icon, the stigmata on Mirna’s body, the messages from Mary and Jesus, and associated phenomena. To get a sense of its scope, Google “Our Lady of Soufanieh.”

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Entry filed under: Middle East, Syria, Women.

Assad Library, Access to Information UNHCR Damascus

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