Friday, May 16, 2008

May 17th: Kuwait - Our Lady of Arabia

The oldest "Our Lady of Arabia" was a picture brought from Mount Carmel. It was framed at the beginning of May 1948, to be used in the Chapel, a room in C.Q. 2B (Fr. Stella's living quarters in Ahmadi) for May devotions.

On 8th December 1948 - the day of the blessing of the mini "Chapel" on the Ridge, this picture was kept near the altar. According to Church records, devotion to Our Lady of Arabia started on that day … the day, on which the Chapel in her honour was dedicated. To the officiating clergy, as well as to the faithful attending, the title of 'Our Lady of Arabia' seemed quite "new". Yet the Right Rev. Apostolic Administrator of Arabia had approved it. It was meant to fulfill the prophecy of the Blessed Virgin contained in the 'Magnificat', "Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed!" (Luke 1:48)

The picture remained in the Chapel till May 1949. Later, it was replaced by a small Statue of the Legion of Mary. However, to represent Our Lady under the title of Our Lady of Arabia, Fr. Stella wanted to have a special Statue made in her honour. He decided to use a replica of the Statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, venerated in her basilica on Mount Carmel - the birthplace of the entire Carmelite Order. An Italian firm in Rome, "Rosa and Zanzio Ditta" was requisitioned to make the replica, carved out of a solid block of cedar from Lebanon.

It was not long before the supreme sanction was granted. The Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, himself gave a grand lead to this devotion to Our Lady of Arabia, and on 17th December 1949, on the eve of the Great Jubilee Year, in the Vatican Palace, he personally blessed the new Statue of Our Lady of Arabia, and consented to be photographed in prayer before it. ...

(Read the rest of this article at Holy Spirit Interactive)
The website of the Vicariate Apostolic of Kuwait includes details of the parish of Our Lady of Arabia at Ahmadi where every Saturday these perpetual novena prayers are said.

I found this verse from "The Queen of Seven Swords" by G.K.Chesterton on the novena pages.
Our Lady went into a strange country
And they crowned her for a queen,
For she needed never to be stayed or questioned
But Only Seen;
And they were broken down under unbeareable beauty
As we have been.
(G.K.Chesterton - The Queen of Seven Swords)
Prayer to Our Lady of Arabia
O Mary ,dear Mother, we call thee 'Our Lady of Arabia' to ask for thy blessing upon this country, and for thy loving protection on us. Keep ever thy child near Jesus in the happiness of sanctifying grace. Amen.
(from the Perpetual Novena to Our Lady of Arabia)

1 comment:

Maria said...

Where can I get an Our Ladyof Arabia prayer card?