The icon of Our Lady Consoler of the Syrian people blessed by the Holy Father as part of ACN’s prayer campaign for Syrian Christians tagged “Console my people” has continued its voyage across Syria and will go on until 31st of May.
This campaign which seeks to perpetuate the memory of the victims of the war in Syria and to provide spiritual support to the families of the deceased has indeed led many to receive consolation in their souls, says Father Charbel Eid Rizkallah of the mission of the Lebanese Maronite Order.
Speaking to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Father Charbel said the courage of Syrian Christians has been inspiring adding that “These Syrian Christians are, in fact, an example for the entire Church”
“Quite soon, I realised that the communities were looking at us with intense hope in their eyes, with a question more like ‘tell us how to live now.’”, he said.
Father Charbel is leading a procession around the dioceses of Syria of the icon of Our Lady of Sorrows, Consoler of the Syrian People.
According to Fr. Charbel, despite the acute difficulties in Syria, young people have engaged with the idea of Christian leadership and shown great faith.
He said: “With the help of the Jesuits in Homs and other villages around, we set up a seminar called ‘Christians and Leadership for Peace. This consists of a lecture for teenagers and young adults in particular.
“To our surprise, [although] it was in the evening and it was cold, large groups of youth started to fill up the rooms. They asked so many practical questions about how to actually live according to the faith in their daily life that I was asked to come back.”, he added.
This icon was designed by a Greek Orthodox priest in Homs (Syria) on the initiative of the ACN foundation. A pilgrimage of the icon began after the blessing on 15th of September 2019 by Pope Francis in the Vatican.