Prayer to Our Lady of Palestine

Going through Brother Francis’ books, I came upon an old Latin-Arabic missal. It was evidently published for Latin Rite Palestinians and, presumably, other Arabs of the Latin Rite (e.g., Jordanians). The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (which still exists) is an historical throwback to the Latin Kingdom of the Crusaders in the Holy Land. It is, therefore, precious. It is precious also because of what it represents, being part of a remnant of Christianity in the land of Jesus.

In the book, I found this prayer to Our Lady of Palestine, written in several languages besides Arabic and Latin. (This is the only English in the book, if my quick glance through it is indicative.) The reader should be mindful of the fact that this prayer comes from a book dated 1945, a scant three years before the Christians of Palestine saw their land invaded by a power inimical both to their Christianity and to their Arabic blood. For me, this fact imbues its hopeful lines with a pathos they probably did not originally have.

O Mary Immaculate, gracious Queen of Heaven and of Earth, behold us prostrate before thy exalted throne. Full of confidence in thy goodness and in thy boundless power, we beseech thee to turn a pitying glance upon Palestine, which, more than any other country, belongs to thee, since thou hast graced it with thy birth, thy virtues and thy sorrows, and from there hast given the Redeemer to the world.

Remember that there especially thou wast constituted our tender Mother, the dispenser of graces. Watch, therefore, with special protection over thy native country, dispel from it the shades of error, for it was there that the Son of Eternal Justice shone. Bring about the speedy fulfillment of the promise, which issued from the lips of thy Divine Son, that there should be one fold and one Shepherd.

Obtain for us all that we may serve the Lord in sanctity and justice during all the days of our life, so that, by the merits of Jesus and with thy motherly aid, we may pass at last from this earthly Jerusalem to the splendors of the heavenly one. Amen.

  • ED

    A great idea for collectors is to collect Latin-(whatever language) missals from every country. Another good collecter’s idea would be to collect prayer cards with saints going back centuries like stamp collecting.