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Lebanese Christians, Muslims join in Marian devotion

Catholic World News - March 26, 2014

On March 25—the feast of the Annunciation, which has been a national holiday in Lebanon since 2010—Catholics and Muslims joined in the 8th Islamic-Christian Prayer Meeting, which was dedicated to the theme: “Together around Mary, Our Lady.”

In an address to the meeting, Father Miguel Angel Ayuso, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, observed that Muslims share the Christian reverence for the Virgin Mary. “Devotion creates sentiments of friendship,” he said. Moreover, he said, “Mary, a model for Muslims and Christians, is also a model of dialogue, teaching us to believe, not to close ourselves up in certainties, but rather to remain open and available to others.”

Father Ayuso remarked that the observance of a national holiday on the Marian feast is “a true example of the coexistence between Muslims and Christians that characterizes Lebanese history, in the midst of so many difficulties, and which also constitutes an important example for many other nations.”

Pope Francis sent a message to the meeting in which he encouraged Catholic and Muslim participants to “work together for peace and for the common good.” The Pope said that he entrusts “all the inhabitants of Lebanon to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace and Protectress of Lebanon.”

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  • Posted by: trini - Mar. 27, 2014 12:54 PM ET USA

    Sad to say, Father Ayuso's talk totally betrays the Roman Catholic position on the Virgin Mary. Islam says that Jesus is just another human prophet who points to the greatest prophet, Mohammed. Islam denies that Jesus Christ is God, and totally ignores Jesus' saving role for mankind. And Islam denies that Mary is the Mother of God, and the greatest of all purely human beings, and the Mediatrix of all graces. What kind of common prayer to Jesus and Mary can Christians have with Islam?

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