Every year around the feast of the Assumption, thousands of Lebanese Maronite Catholics and other local Catholics make a pilgrimage to the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon near Youngstown, Ohio. This year was the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the church and the pilgrimage. The August 13-16 program included two spiritual conferences based on the book Return to Order by author John Horvat.
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The event included pontifical liturgies in the Maronite and Melkite rites and nightly candlelight processions. There was time for confessions, prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Lebanese food was constantly being served at the shrine’s Cedar Hall throughout the weekend.
Mr. Horvat’s two spiritual conferences were titled: “Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother: The Key to Bringing America Back to Order” and “Mary Calls Us to A Way-of-the-Cross Society.” The talks developed themes found in Return to Order and make practical applications of its principles.
The end of the pilgrimage was a huge outdoor Mass with a thousand people present and a long candlelight procession to the four-story tower with a large statue of Our Lady on top. There was then a spectacular fireworks display in the background of Our Lady.
Photo of Statue of Our Lady of Lebanon by FunkMonk. License: CC BY 3.0
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