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Beacon of faith: Lebanese town builds giant floating rosary at sea

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Joe Abdel Sater, a swimming instructor in the seaside town of Bouar, Lebanon, built the world’s largest rosary on the ocean. With the help of family and friends, his vision took shape and was launched on May 11, 2024, during the feast of Our Lady of the Seas. / Credit: Joe Abdel Sater

ACI MENA, May 16, 2024 / 05:00 am (CNA).

A Lebanese Catholic man has created a giant rosary that floats upon the Mediterranean waves.

Joe Abdel Sater, a swimming instructor in the seaside town of Bouar, built the world’s largest rosary on the ocean on May 11 — with the help of family and friends — on the feast of Our Lady of the Seas.

Joe Abdel Sater, a swimming instructor in the seaside town of Bouar, Lebanon, built the world's largest rosary on the ocean. With the help of family and friends, his vision took shape and was launched on May 11, 2024, during the feast of Our Lady of the Seas. Credit: Joe Abdel Sater
Joe Abdel Sater, a swimming instructor in the seaside town of Bouar, Lebanon, built the world’s largest rosary on the ocean. With the help of family and friends, his vision took shape and was launched on May 11, 2024, during the feast of Our Lady of the Seas. Credit: Joe Abdel Sater

The idea came to Abdel Sater during his daily contemplation of the sea.

For six months, he perceived the outlining of rosary beads on the water’s surface. Compelled to make this vision a reality, he received blessings from the local parish priest, Father Ferez Tawk, and from the mayor. However, executing such an ambitious undertaking was no easy feat.

“For a month, I puzzled over what materials to use — wood or foam?” Abdel Sater recalled. “How could I secure the rosary’s shape against the shifting currents?” But, as he put it, “divine providence facilitated things.”

An illuminated icon on the waves

Stretching 100 meters (about 330 feet) across the water, the finished rosary is comprised of white plastic gallon jugs representing the Hail Mary beads and larger blue ones for the Our Father prayers. The cross is made of wood.

“I dove down and tied the beads with rope, anchoring them to the rocks below,” Abdel Sater explained to ACI Mena, CNA’s Arabic-language news partner. “So despite the changing tides, the rosary’s form remained intact.”

Outfitted with lights, the installation casts a luminous glow at night.

Though forced to temporarily move it ashore due to rough waters, Abdel Sater hopes to soon re-float his unprecedented creation, which he has submitted for inclusion into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Joe Abdel Sater, a swimming instructor in the seaside town of Bouar, Lebanon, built the world's largest rosary on the ocean. With the help of family and friends, his vision took shape and was launched on May 11, 2024, during the feast of Our Lady of the Seas. Credit: Joe Abdel Sater
Joe Abdel Sater, a swimming instructor in the seaside town of Bouar, Lebanon, built the world’s largest rosary on the ocean. With the help of family and friends, his vision took shape and was launched on May 11, 2024, during the feast of Our Lady of the Seas. Credit: Joe Abdel Sater

A community united

For the Parish of Sts. Takla and John, the floating rosary provided a centerpiece for celebrating the feast of Our Lady of the Seas on May 11. As Tawk explained: “We gathered parishioners to offer a Mass giving thanks to Our Blessed Mother. This endeavor symbolizes our Eastern Catholic devotion to Mary.”

Reflecting on the profound symbolism, Tawk noted that “alone, rosary beads lose their meaning. As Catholic faithful, we’re those beads and our community binds us together through life’s crashing waves.”

Joe Abdel Sater, a swimming instructor in the seaside town of Bouar, Lebanon, built the world's largest rosary on the ocean. With the help of family and friends, his vision took shape and was launched on May 11, 2024, during the feast of Our Lady of the Seas. Credit: Joe Abdel Sater
Joe Abdel Sater, a swimming instructor in the seaside town of Bouar, Lebanon, built the world’s largest rosary on the ocean. With the help of family and friends, his vision took shape and was launched on May 11, 2024, during the feast of Our Lady of the Seas. Credit: Joe Abdel Sater

“Without that communion, even the strongest believer can be swept away,” Tawk said. “But by walking together with Jesus as our anchor, we can withstand any storm and find redemption. Thus, we become like Mary, who stood firm in her faith under the cross, understanding that Jesus’ sacrifice is the beginning of salvation.”

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This article was originally published by ACI Mena, CNA’s Arabic-language news partner, and has been translated and adapted by CNA.


Source: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/257687/beacon-of-faith-lebanese-town-builds-giant-floating-rosary-at-sea


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