The Blessed Virgin Mary. Mother of Jesus Christ, lived here, in our country. Here she received the angel who announced to her that she would become the mother of "the son of the Most High" without knowing any man. The crucified Jesus handed her over as mother to the beloved disciple and thus she became the mother of the Church, and in a particular way the mother of the Church in her own country – the Land of Israel.


mary_palestineIn 1927, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Louis Barlassina, dedicated a church, monastery and orphanage in honor of Mary, Queen of Palestine, at Rafat, a village next to Beit Shemesh. The feast of Mary Queen of Palestine was officially recognized in 1933 and since that time the Catholics in the diocese of Jerusalem have made a pilgrimage to the shrine in Rafat each year in order to ask the intercession of Mary for her country. This feast is unique to the diocese of Jerusalem and Mary, Queen of our country, protects the Church in the land.

We pray on this feast for peace in our country in faith and confidence that Mary will intercede for us, for her country and for all her children.

The traditional pray, formulated in 1926 to Our Lady of Palestine is:

O Mary Immaculate,
gracious Queen of Heaven and of Earth,
behold us prostrate before thy exalted throne.
Full of confidence in thy goodness
and in thy boundless power,
we beseech thee to turn a pitying glance upon Palestine,
which more than any other country belongs to thee,
since thou hast graced it with thy birth,
thy virtues and thy sorrows,
and from there hast given the Redeemer to the world.

rafat

Remember that there especially
thou wert constituted our tender Mother,
the dispenser of graces.
Watch, therefore, with special protection
over thy native country,
scatter from it the shades of error,
for it was there the Sun of Eternal Justice shone.

Bring about the speedy fulfillment of the promise,
which issued from the lips of Thy Divine Son,
that there should be one fold and one Shepherd.

Obtain for us all that we may serve the Lord
in sanctity and justice during the days of our life,
so that, by the merits of Jesus
and with thy motherly aid,
we may pass at last from this earthly Jerusalem
to the splendors of the heavenly one. Amen.