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French sanctuary director talks of miracle statue 
3/2/2005

Prayers are a source of hope for the people and "the flow of prayers in Saydet Bashwat is a source of blessing to the pilgrims and the Lebanese, particularly in the wake of the dangerous conflicts that are hurting Lebanon and the Middle East," said the director of Pontmain sanctuary in France, Claude Poussier.

Poussier was referring to the Virgin Mary statue, located in the Saydet Bashwat Church in Baalbek, and which has allegedly performed miracles.

The statue was created a century ago to represent the one in the Pontmain sanctuary in France and to mark the anniversary, Poussier, held a press conference on Wednesday at the Catholic Information Center in Jal al-Dib.

During the conference Poussier spoke of how the Virgin Mary statue was seen to move in Baalbek last year and the similar occurrences in Pontmain in 1871. The first time this took place in Lebanon was early last year when a young Jordanian tourist claimed he saw the statue move its head and blink. Since then people have claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary statue with tears running down her cheeks.

He also stressed the importance of the cooperation between the two sanctuaries.

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