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Pilgrimage to the Holy Valley (Ouadi Qadisha)



Marist School Jbeil-Amchit

17/10/2017: Lebanon

The pastoral team of the Marist School of Jbeil-Amchit, Lebanon, organized a spiritual journey on Oct. 12 for the 70 students who are finishing school (17-18 years).

The goal was to get in touch with the roots of the faith of our Maronite Church. For this, what better than crossing a part of the Holy Valley (Ouadi Qadisha), which has been declared a World Heritage Site.

We arrived in vans up to the top edge of the immense and steep valley. Then, on foot, we walked the 1400 steps carved in stone, which descend to the depths of the valley.

On the slopes, there are caves where hermits lived as early as the fourth century; remains of convents and monasteries half embedded in the rocks of the hillside; the former seat of the Maronite patriarchate, chapels, oratories ... Something incredible, unexpected.

In the Holy Valley, the faith of the Lebanese people grew and consolidated. The Christians took refuge there in the different waves of persecution; they lived there for four centuries (1515-1915) during the Ottoman persecution.

It was an experience that impacted the students: impressive landscapes, abrupt places, difficult to reach, silence and peace ... And above all, we were able to relive the sources of the Maronite faith with moments of dialogue, prayer and celebration.

Br José María Ferre

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