|2nd International Day of Prayer, Amsterdam 1998|
At the end of the Holy Mass, Msgr. Maakaroun, Archbishop of Lattaquié, unexpectedly and spontaneously gave Our Lady a golden thurible in the name of all Arabic nations as a sign of thankfulness.
On this thurible hang twelve small golden bells: three for the orient, three for the west, three for the north, and three for the southern nations. There are some bells which ring but others which remain silent. The silent bells represent those who still lead lives of sin.
In the name of all languages and nations of the world, I would like, therefore, to present this golden thurible to Our Mother Mary. Let us not forget that our cross always has two sides: it is the cross of the passion and death, and the cross of the resurrection.
I give this thurible to Our Lady in the name of the suffering and the joyful; I give this in the name of all the Christians and Muslims of the orient, in the name of Syria, and in the name of Lebanon, my homeland.