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Panoramic Views > Bekaa > Baalbeck > Beshwet - Our Lady

Beshwet - Our Lady (Saydet Beshwet)

Most of the villages on the eastern slopes of the mountain chain extending from Dahr el-Kadeeb to Hermon have a population composed mostly of Christians who came down from the mountains of Sannine and from Qornet es-Sawda. Beshwet, whose name comes from the Aramaic “towards the plain”, is situated twenty kilometers north-west of Baalbek, between Deir el-Ahmar and Barqa, and 105 kilometers from the capital, Beirut.

The people of this village, numbering about 1,800, are Maronite Christians, very many of whom bear the family name of Keyrouz, having come down from Bsharri starting from the eighteenth century. They are good folk, hospitable, friendly, generous and ready to offer us warm bread cooked on the “saj”, with arak (aniseed spirit), fruit, fresh water and coffee, with the best of everything.

There are several ways to reach Beshwet. One may go from Beirut to Heliopolis-Baalbek, passing near the Cedar Forest of Bsharri. One may go through Kesserewan, Faraya and Baalbek. Or after Bsharri one may pass through the Cedars and Aineta and on to Beshwet. The village of Beshwet has become a center of pilgrimage visited by tens of thousands, including both the faithful and the merely curious from all over the world, people of every belief. This is because devotees of Our Lady are to be found everywhere in great number. In 1880 the people of the village wanted a special statue of the Virgin, and a Jesuit priest passing by obtained for them a copy of Our Lady of Pontmain.

Our Lady of Beshwet wears a gold crown and a blue star-spangled robe. She carries a crucifix in her hand and also a rosary that was added by pious faithful. The present church dates to 1825 and stands on the ruins of an older building. Mary’s beneficent presence is shown by the miracles accorded to her suppliants, particularly in recent years. In fact invalids of every kind and from every place, even non-Christians and non-Lebanese, have been cured after addressing themselves to her and have come on pilgrimage to thank her. As a result, a new church has been built next to the old one.

Also at Beshwet there is the old monastery of Mar Saba and a historic spring of water, Ain el-Dayaa, with a number of caves and fair sprinkling of restaurants to supply the needs of visitors. So it is that this site in a rather austere and desert part of the Beqaa has become a well-known religious center, with buses and with cars in their thousands, bringing numberless pilgrims and tourists and offering folklore activities, objects of piety, and blessed oils to be taken away home and to be used to ward off or to cure illnesses of every description.

Portmain in France was the site of an apparition of Our Lady to some children in January 1870 during the Franco-German war between Napoleon III and Bismarck. Responding to their prayers, the Holy Virgin had promised a halt to the advance of the German army, telling them, “But pray, children, and my Son will let himself be moved,” words written in gold in the sky.

To visit Beshwet and the shrine of Our Lady there is an excursion not to be missed and a moment of communion with the divine Beyond!

- Beshwet - Our Lady 1: >> View Movie << (2012-07-15)
- Beshwet - Our Lady 2: >> View Movie << (2012-07-15)



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