On Saturday, April 26, 2014, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal will bless a new icon, written especially for the Our Lady Woman of Valor Pastoral Center for Migrants in south Tel Aviv.

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The icon was written by a small team under the able leadership of master iconographer Andreas Bergamini, a brother of the Families of the Visitation. Assisting him were Franciscan Brother Alberto Pari and Saint James Vicariate seminarian Benedetto di Bitonto.

The large scale icon, painted on canvass, is a representation of Our Lady Woman of Valor, inspired by the Book of Proverbs 31:10-31, a well known text in the Jewish tradition, which praises the strong woman of faith who provides for her household.

A woman of valor who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels…
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue…
Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all…
Give her a share in the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the city gates.
(Proverbs 31:10.26.29.31)

Most of the faithful that frequent the Pastoral Center are migrant women, Asians and Africans, who are strong women and find their model in the Virgin Mary.

The Blessed Virgin represents here the church in south Tel Aviv and in her hand she holds a scroll with the verses from the Book of Proverbs inscribed in Hebrew. At the very center of the icon is the Christ, center of our lives.

Under the cloak of the Blessed Virgin, the people of the central bus station area in south Tel Aviv find refuge: men and women and the many children from a diversity of origins, Filipinos, Indians, Sri Lankans and other Asians, Eritreans, Sudanese and other Africans as well as local Jews and Arabs. Among them too are clergy, sisters and catechists who help to build up the church.

Behind the Blessed Virgin on the left hand side is the Central Bus Station and the synagogue and houses of Shivat Zion Street. On the right hand side are buildings of Tel Aviv and among them can be found the buildings that housed the church before she found a more permanent home in the Our Lady Woman of Valor Pastoral Center.

Our Lady Woman of Valor pray for the Church in south Tel Aviv and all migrant workers and asylum seekers in our country and throughout the world!