Aleppo (Syria). On August 5, 2018 the Perpetual Profession of Sister Jean d’Arc Mardo, the second Daughter of Mary Help of Christians from Aleppo took place.
These are the words of the Provincial, Sister Lina Abou Naoum about the experience lived.
“The Province of the Middle East (MOR) lived an incomparable adventure: a trip to Aleppo with 17 people, FMA, young people, and two Muslim drivers who left from Damascus on the morning of August 5th to reach Aleppo and attend the Perpetual Profession in the evening of Sister Jean d’Arc Mardo, the second Daughter of Mary Help of Christians from Aleppo.
The main Damascus-Aleppo highway is not completely open. At one time you could get there in a maximum of 4 hours. The Provincial, Sister Lina Abou Naoum, the Councilor of Syria, Sister Carolin Tahan, and the whole group reach Aleppo after an 8-hour journey. There are still terrorist groups in Syria that have been in conflict with the Syrian army for years
It is painful to observe hundreds of kilometers of land totally destroyed. Whole villages are displaced. Buildings, streets, cars are no longer recognizable. We felt great emotion when Sister Carol and her mother, present in the group, could not recognize the streets of entry into the city because of what the war has left and how badly men continue to treat each other.
The journey was not without dangers. The missiles continue to fall in the city, and damage and martyrs are recorded in less than 48 hours.
We entrust ourselves to the prayers of many and we decid to mark the life of the Aleppo people with Festivity and joy. The Provincial, Sr. Lina, together with the two witnesses, the Director of Aleppo, Sister Soad Khalil, and Sister Carolin Tahan receive the religious Vows of Sister Jeand’Arc who pronounced her ‘Yes” forever.
Father Simon Zakarian, the celebrant, and the Salesian confreres con-celebrating, in the presence of Monsignor George Khazen and other diocesan priests, make the Mass of Profession very solemn. The professional choir of Aleppo raised their prayer of heavenly praise. The Church of Saint Matilda, built by the well-known Matilda Salem who died in the concept of holiness, was full of the faithful who for two hours witnessed the celebration with faith.
The parents of Sister Jean d’Arc offered their son Habib, a martyr at only 28 of age, for the life of Syria. And now, they still offer their daughter Jeand’Arc, called to live the religious dimension of martyrdom, that faithful and sacrificial gift of self, so that young Syrians may know the face of Christ, of Life.
Celebrating amid the rubble of Aleppo has the meaning of resurrection. Aleppo lived the joy of the Eucharistic table and of the fraternal Agape in the courtyard of our house, where more than 200 people of Aleppo ate, sang, and danced.
The experience has transfigured us and the Aleppo people, making us happy and full of hope, because Christ in us continues to overcome evil, however great it may seem. On our return, we continue to celebrate and announce to the Sisters of MOR and the world that the Salesian charism is our strength”.