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Feast of the Annunciation
Becomes National Holiday in Lebanon
The feast of the Annunciation, March 25, has been recognized in Lebanon as a “national holiday, and one of its most vigorous promoters is a Muslim,” reports Doreen Abi Raad of the Catholic News Service (Mar. 24, 2010):
Sheik Mohammed Nokkari, who teaches in the faculty of law and at the Institute of Islamic-Christian Studies at St. Joseph University in Beirut, told Catholic News Service Mary is "the best woman ever, here (on earth) and in eternity. She's above all women."
"God gave us Eve, as the mother of humanity," said Sheik Nokkari, a lecturer on the subject of Muslim-Christian dialogue. "He also gave us another mother, a tender and uniting mother who is our Mother Mary." Nokkari has helped to organize an annual meeting of Muslims and Christians on the feast of the Annunciation at the College of Our Lady of Jamhour, an outside of Beirut. In 2009, some one-thousand participants attended the gathering, which explored the theme, “Together Around Our Lady Mary."
When, last year, Nokkari and others petitioned the Lebanese government to declare March 25th a national holiday, the grand mufti of Dar el-Fatwa (Lebanon's highest Sunni Muslim religious authority) forbade him from participating in the Jamhour meeting. As a result, Nokkari published the speech he had intended to deliver at Jamhour in a newspaper and resigned his post as Director General of Dar el-Fatwa.
The official decision to make the Feast of the Annunciation a national holiday was announced during a February 20th meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Lebanon's prime minister, Saad Hariri. Shiek Nokkari remarked, “The first feeling I had was to offer this victory to Our Lady 'Sitna Mariam' (as she is known by Muslims), and I asked the organizers and all who participated in this not to take any credit, but to offer it to Our Lady. ... Our Lady gave us this day. It is not us who is giving it to her."
The Maronite Catholic Council of Bishops praised the government's decision, saying it "helps in bringing hearts together." Sheik Nokkari expressed his hope that the celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation as a national holiday would spread to other nations.
Read more: The Remnant
“Separation of Church and State!” the parrots would scream if that ever happened. Sure, “Martin Luther King Day” can be a national holiday in America, even though King was a Protestant minister. In fact, we honor various people – a Protestant “reverend,” presidents, war veterans, Columbus, etc. – with national holidays. It is interesting, though, that a nation so proud of its riches and bounty has never honored the Divine in such a manner. In fact, many people who would sing “America! America!/ God shed His grace on thee,/And crown thy good with brotherhood/From sea to shining sea!” would also sue the government if a Catholic icon became the subject of a national holiday.
Originally posted by Romantic_Rebel
You act like everyone in Lebanon is a Muslim. They have a large Catholic population there and both Catholics and Muslims do business together in various ways.
Originally posted by muzzleflash
This is a step in the right direction IMO.
I want NOTHING MORE, than to see the Muslims, Jews, and Christians come together in peace as brothers/sisters and accept each other through the "Love" their religions claim to represent.
Maybe they are going to turn a new leaf though?
Maybe they can grow up and learn to live in peace together?
Oh who am I kidding. It's so unlikely....