Updated on: 2002/10/4
 

Since November 22nd, 1982, a simple home of the Christian neighbourhood of Soufanieh in Damascus, is the scene of phenomenons which make its inhabitants relive the graces of the first Christians.

Damascus, famous city in the history of Christianity, marked by the conversion of Saint Paul (Ac. 9,3-6), where one finds St-Anania's chapel, one of the first disciples of Christ (one of the 72 mentioned by Saint Luke) who has been entrusted by the Lord to go and lay his hands on Saul of Tarsus so that he recovers his sight (Ac. 9, 10-19). 

Damascus where in its vicinity, the inhabitants of the village of Maaloula speak to this day the Aramaic language spoken by Christ.


Damascus, which shelters within the walls of the Omayyad Mosque, the mausoleum of Saint John the Baptist.

Damascus which lives unexplained staggering events which follow one another at an amazing rythm: oozing of oil from a replica of an icon of the Virgin Mary (referred to as "Icon"), exudation of oil from the face and hands of Myrna Nazzour, a young, normal and well-balanced eighteen year old woman, married six months earlier, who is living the Passion of Christ with stigmatas and having visions of the Virgin Mary during ecstasies.

The first event started on November 22nd, 1982. Myrna was praying with other members of her family while visiting her ailing sister-in-law, when suddenly, she felt a strange and indescribable phenomenon: all her body was shivering as if some force was coming out from inside her (to quote her expression) Oil had just started to exude from her hands for the first time.

The second event to take place in the home of Myrna and Nicolas in Soufanieh, started on November 27th, 1982, coinciding with the anniversary date of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Saint Catherine Labouré in 1830, at the rue du Bac in Paris, France. Oil started to exude from a small replica of the icon of the Virgin of Kazan (6x8cm / 2.4x3.2 inches), bought by Nicolas in July 1980, at the Alexandre Nevsky Orthodox church in Sofia, Bulgaria.

This oozing of the Icon slowly followed the rythm of the liturgical cycle of the Christian feasts and lasted until November 26th, 1990 (a). During these years, the oozing of oil was interrupted from November 27th , 1985 to November 25th, 1986, but the atmosphere of peace and prayers never stopped.

During this period, not one drop of oil exuded and no apparitions occurred. This period explains part of Christ's message on November 26th, 1985: " ... and if My absence lasts, and the light disappears from you, do not fear, this will be for My glorification. "


 

(a)  The Icon oozed again during Holy Week 200 when Easter was celebrated in common among Catholics and Orthodox.

 Some Biblical references to Damascus:  Ac 9,1-27   Ac 22,5-16   Ac 26,12-22   2 Co 11,32-22    Ga 1,15-17