Whether you're Christian or Muslim, Saint Mary has a special place in your heart.
The Virgin Mary, who carried baby Jesus, is honored in all regions of the world, including Lebanon.
The Virgin Mary has travelled to present-day Lebanon multiple times. Most notably, Maghdouche in the South, where she would spend her days waiting while Jesus visited Sidon. Also, Qana, where Jesus' first miracle of turning water to wine at the wedding took place.
Many areas of this country are dedicated to Saint Mary and to her benediction. Here are 5 sites you can visit on a pilgrim or if you feel like spending a nice Sunday with your family away from the city's rush.
Our Lady of Lebanon - Harissa (Keserouan)
This international pilgrimage site is one of the most important centers in the world for honoring the Virgin Mary. It draws thousands of visitors and believers each year.
From all countries and religions, people rush to this holy place to meditate and contemplate in her holiness.
Pope John Paul II and Pope Benefict XVI have both visited Harissa.
Our Lady of Mercy - Miziara (North Lebanon)
In the center of Miziara is this famous sanctuary. An old, beautiful, spacious, and heavily decorated shrine with dozens of paintings.
It's a large park with avenues with trees like olive groves and oaks. Carved monuments of different subjects, inspired by the Gospel, have been erected.
Our Lady of Beshouat - Beshouat (Beqaa Valley)
Divine miracles have been reported and attributed to Our Lady of Bechouat.
Thousands of worshippers have visited the sanctuary where they march from the village of Bechouat to the old church where the blue and white statue of the Virgin Mary stands.
The statue, a replica of the one at Our Lady of Pontmain in France, was erected a century ago.
Our Lady of Light - Hamat (North Lebanon)
It is believed that two sailors built the shrine in the 4th century. One winter night, on a very stormy sea, the two sailors found themselves in peril. They began praying, and the Virgin appeared to them as a light and guided them gently to the shore of Chekka.
The grateful sailors carved a cave in the cliff and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary, and called the shrine, Our Lady of Light. The site is famous for its amazing view on the sea.
Our Lady of Zahle and Beqaa - Zahle (Beqaa Valley)
A ten-meter-high bronze statue of the Virgin Mary rests on a 54-meter high tower crowning a hill known by the name of Tel Chicha.
An elevator takes pilgrims and tourists up to a viewing platform overlooking the red-roofed city and offering panoramic views of the valley.
The base of the tower houses a small chapel that seats about 100 people.
Our Lady of Awaiting - Maghdousheh (South Lebanon)
The shrine consists of a tower crowned with the statue of the Virgin and Child, a cathedral, a cemetery, and a sacred cave believed to be the one where the Virgin Mary rested while she waited for Jesus. Since its discovery in 1721, it has become the principal destination for families on the occasion of the feast of the Nativity of Mary.