Our Lady of Arabia
Mother Mary ‘s love and guidance has been and is nowadays present in the whole Arabic region. In the last thousand three hundred years the Arabs were reading in the Qur’an such a praise of the sweet mother of Jesus: “0 Mary, verily God hath chosen thee above all women of the world” (Chap. Ill, Section 5 – 45th verse).
In the Qur’an, our sweet Mother Mary,is the only woman called by name, the other women are mentioned as daughter of, or wife of or sister of..
Out of 114 Suras , the 19th is entirely dedicated to Mary.
“Allah has chosen you. He has made you pure,and exalted you above all women ( Mary be obedient to your Lord, bow down and worship with the worshippers)” (Qur’an 3;42).
For Moslem Mary is the highest of all women, her life has been linked to Her Son Jesus.
“Allah bids you rejoice in a Word from Him. His name is Messiah , Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and in the next and shall be favoured by Allah” (Qur’an 3;43).
Mary is venerated both by Christians and Moslems, Her name is mentioned the Qur’an around 40 times, to Her has been given the name of Sayyidatuna that means ‘ Our Lady’ So we can easily proclaim Mary the symbol of unity between Christians and Moslems. Mary is the model of all the believers in God, receiving from Him with faith the Word of God and implementing totally in Her existence. Devotions to Mary in the Arabic World are becoming more popular and there are many examples of this faith in the Arab world: for the feast of the birth of Mary in Egypt, around two million people, Muslims and Christians go on pilgrimage to the Sanctuary on mount Al Tir, Samallut. In this place , tradition indicates the locality where the Holy Family had lived for several years when they had to escape from Palestine to save the life of the Lord jesus from the persecution of the King Herod. In the countries of the Gulf, many Moslems pray to Mary in front of the Grottos near the Churches compounds and also the Novenas of ‘ Our Mother of Perpetual Soccour’, that takes place every Wednesday in the Emirate’s Parishes is attended also by Moslems and Hindu. In the year 2010 , the feast of the Annunciation, March 25, has been recognized in Lebanon as a national holiday.
Devotion to Our Lady of Arabia
It all began in Kuwait,when the city of Ahmadi started to be the centre of oil production, scores of people, mainly migrant workers, began to settle there. The Catholics worshipped in a provisional Chapel from 1948 until 1955. This Chapel was previously a Nissen hut on the Ahmadi Ridge, which had housed a power station and was later abandoned. The Chapel was blessed on 8th December 1948. On that day, devotion to “Our Lady of Arabia” started. The present-day Church in Ahmadi was consecrated on Easter Sunday, 1st April 1956. It was on that day, H.L. Bishop Stella blessed the new Church of Our Lady of Arabia. It is noteworthy that His Eminence Alexender Cardinal Verde signed the document which grants to the Church of Our Lady of Arabia the same indulgences as for visiting the greatest Marian Shrine of the world, the papal basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. To represent Our Lady under the title of Our Lady of Arabia, Fr. Stella (who later became the first Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait) wanted to have a special statue made in her honour. An Italian firm in Rome was requisitioned to make the statue, carved out of a solid block of cedar from Lebanon.
The Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, himself gave a grand lead to this devotion to Our Lady of Arabia, when on 17th December 1949, on the eve of the Great Jubilee Year, he personally blessed the new statue of Our Lady of Arabia in the Vatican Palace. The same Pope proclaimed the Queenship of Mary in 1954! This statue has been prominently placed above the altar in the Church in Ahmadi. A smaller statue of Our Lady of Arabia (again, blessed by Pope Pius X11 in 1954) is placed above the side altar in the Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait City.
Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical AD CAELI REGINAM proclaiming the Queenship of Mary said, “Whoever, therefore, reverences the Queen of heaven and earth — and let no one consider himself exempt from this tribute of a grateful and loving soul — let him invoke the most effective of Queens, the Mediatrix of peace; let him respect and preserve peace to which the Virgin Mary impels us, which is not wickedness unpunished, nor freedom without restraint, but, a well-ordered harmony under the rule of the will of God!”.
We pray that Our Lady of Arabia may hear our prayers, and by her peace make happy a world shaken by discord, and after our earthly exile … show unto us all Jesus, Who will be our eternal peace and joy.
“O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady
of Arabia and our Patroness! To you we
offer up our prayers for the needs of the
Church here and throughout the world. Help
us to remain one with your Son Jesus and
united amongst ourselves, so that we may be
true witnesses for Christ in our daily lives and
that the Lord’s blessings of peace and
harmony be within our families and
communities always. Trusting in your
maternal intercession, we beseech you to
hear our humble prayers and grant us the
graces we seek… so that we may give glory to
God forever. Amen.
Our Lady of Arabia, pray for us!“
We entrust to Our Lady of Arabia, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus’ our intentions, our dreams and plans, let’s propagate this devotion in our countries to sure to receive all the graces that we need to be close to Jesus and do the will of our Eternal Father.