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Our lady of Maghdoucheh

  • religious site

Maghdoucheh, Saida district

On a hill overlooking the coast, a few kilometers from the southern city of Saida, stands as a colossal statue of Mary holding infant Jesus, called the Saydet Al Mantara or Our Lady of the Guardian. The site is home to The Road of the Holy Shrines and the Church of Our Lady in Waiting, a cave in which it is said the Virgin Mary once stayed while pregnant with her son. The cave of Saydet Al Mantara was made into a sanctuary by early Christians. It is also said according to tradition that Mary followed her son on his journeys between Cana, Tyre, Sarafand, and Sidon, and that it was on this hill in Maghdouche that the Virgin awaited the return of Jesus from his apostolic wanderings. The new basilica features shiny, tiled frescoes, which are a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid or wet lime plaster. An annual pilgrimage takes place in Maghdouche every September 18 to mark the feast of the birth of the Virgin. The area of statue of Mary provides spectacular views which cover the Mediterranean, the city of Saida, the valley leading into the interior, and the Ain El-Hilweh refugee camp.