ASIA/LEBANON - The National Day of the Annunciation moved to April 9th

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 middle east   oriental churches   islam   marian devotion   sectaniarism

Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - The National Day of the Annunciation, usually celebrated in Lebanon on March 25th, this year has been moved to April 9th. This was confirmed by a document released Tuesday March 20 by the Maronite Patriarchate. The celebration was postponed because this year, for the Churches that follow the Gregorian calendar, March 25 coincides with Palm Sunday.
In Lebanon the Marian solemnity of the Lord's Annunciation has been proclaimed a national holiday since 2010, when the government was led by the Sunnite Saad Hariri. Every year, on the occasion of the feast, organizations of Islamic-Christian dialogue - starting from the Ensemble Autour de Marie group - promote feasts, meetings and celebrations in various parts of the Country.
The Christian solemnity of the Lord's Annunciation was recognized as a Lebanese national holiday with the declared intention of finding in the devotion to Mary - also shared among Muslims - a point of convergence among the different religious communities, in order to defuse even in this way the sectarian tensions that always threaten social coexistence in the Country, and that this year risk to reignite also in view of the political elections, scheduled for May 6th. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 21/3/2018)