Light from the East - Miracles of Our Lady of Soufanieh
Light from the East -
Miracles of Our Lady of Soufanieh

by Fr. Robert J. Fox

Jan 2002 Our Lady Speaks from Muslim Land - Fr. Fox

I was traveling from Australia to Syria when the acts of terrorism broke out in the United States. I spent the next week in the home of Nicholas and Myrna Nazzour of Damascus. Sometimes their home is called the Virgin’s home of Soufanieh. I was going to an ideal community of Christian love formed by Our Lady of Soufanieh in the heart of a Muslim land. Arriving in Damasc
Light from the East - Miracles of Our Lady of Soufaniehus I learned of the terrorists attacks in the USA.

The experience of Soufanieh, which is the call for UNITY in the family as a domestic church and UNITY in the universal Church, was indeed an experience never to be forgotten. I was to witness a miracle of Soufanieh my last evening there, just as I had completed the Sacrifice of the Mass at the very site where Our Lady appeared.

Time is needed for me to digest the great messages and heaven’s call coming out of Soufanieh in Damascus. It is happening in the very area where St. Paul was converted and Christianity began to take deep roots as it would spread to the nations. I went to Damascus to do research for a book on Soufanieh. The reception I received in my research from Patriarchs, both Catholic and Orthodox, the Papal Nuncio, the priests directly involved, an Orthodox Archbishop, as well as the Soufanieh Christian community, was beyond my expectations.

I want to present Soufanieh correctly. I ask your prayers in writing the book on Soufanieh. Such is my task during these winter months. I’ll keep you informed through the Immaculate Heart Messenger.

Learning more about Our Lady’s call at Soufanieh while I was in the heart of Muslim land, at the time of acts of terrorism by Islamic extremists, inspired me. I thought God is permitting this latest crisis in the world today to bring Muslims and Christians together. Pope John Paul II learning of the acts, after prayer, quickly wrote President Bush voicing his “unspeakable horror at this terrorist attack against innocent persons.”

I am convinced that Our Lady of Soufanieh, who is one with Our Lady of Fatima, will be introducing the Muslim people more and more to her incarnate Son and Savior, Jesus Christ. Hopefully, Soufanieh will bring Christians into Unity and to live authentic Christian lives in their homes as little churches and witness Jesus to the Muslims more fully. So see then why this book is important.

The answer to terrorism is not bombs but love, authentic Christian love. In the East they do not have the magnanimous image of the United States that we might like to have of ourselves. Here we are, a so called Christian Country, at least 90% claiming to be Christian. Yet, the United States exports violence and pornography, and artificial birth control throughout the world. Authentic Catholic Christians don’t do that but Muslim people hardly make those distinctions.

Muslims don’t believe in artificial birth control and they have large families. Thus, today, there are for the first time more Muslims than Catholics in the world. The future of civilization and Christianity depends upon the Catholic response. “Catholics” who believe in artificial birth control, among other unchristian practices and beliefs, are hardly authentic Catholic Christians. The lack of unity in the Church has contributed to the crisis of the modern world and the spread of the Islamic faith.

I discovered at Soufanieh that its basic message is the same call as that of Fatima. It is for the family. It is for love and unity of the total Church. Soufanieh has had high acceptance by both the Orthodox and Catholic Christians in Syria. I discussed with Myrna her meeting with the Carmelite Sisters of Coimbra, Portugal where Sister Lucia lives and her privilege of meeting Sister Lucia. Details will appear in the book when released sometime during the next year.

I am more convinced than ever from my flight around the world, time in Australia and Syria, that we must answer the Pope’s call for “families for families” associations. That is what the Fatima Family Apostolate (FFA) is about. Thus in this issue there is presented detailed articles on FFA. Many readers of this magazine may still not be aware of what this Apostolate is about. Therefore I beg you to read both “What do you want of me?” and “Meaning of Fatima in Light of the Third Secret & the Sanctification of family Life” and Mary’s White League.

I went to Australia again to give the Fatima Family Apostolate new and expanded impetus. Margaret Grace, who is the agent for FFA in Australia, tells me that interest in this Apostolate is growing. The acts of terrorism just after I departed served to bring home to people the urgency of the message for families which we delivered in Australia.

While you await the book which Father Robert J. Fox be be writing on: "OUR LADY OF SOUFANIEH" we suggest you order for your home the replica of the SOUFANIEH ICON. At least 200 replicas of Our Lady of Soufanieh Icon spread throughout the world have also shed oil like the Icon in the home of Myrna and Nicholas Nazzour in Damascus, Syria. Having this replica of the miraculous icon in your home - can remind you of the love and unity that should exist in your family which is to be like a little church, "domestic church" the Pope calls it, - and to pray for Christian Unity - "that all may be one" as called for by our Lord in the Bible and at Soufanieh in Damascus in our own day. This Icon honored in your home will bring Our Lady's intercession for love and unity in your family. It will remind you to pray for Church Unity.

April 2002 - A Testimonial to Damascus Miracles by Fr. Fox

It seemedIcon of Soufanieh hardly coincidental that months before I departed for Damascus, Syria I chose September 11, 2001 to be in flight there. I would spend time at an ideal Christian Community of Soufanieh that has developed in the midst of Muslim land. For the first time in 2000 years, in the very area where St. Paul the Apostle was converted and baptized, from where he went to convert the world to be one in Jesus Christ, miracles have been happening since 1982. They call for love and unity.

I was urged to write a book on Soufanieh. I would not do so without first hand experience of the area. I needed to get to know the people directly involved. I needed to interview Church authorities of both the Orthodox and Catholics. The Nazzour family at the center of the Soufanieh supernatural phenomenon has a Melkite rite Catholic Mother, Myrna, and Orthodox father, Nicolas.

I was in Damascus, Syria, for a week, each day as a guest at the Virgin’s House of Soufanieh. I was always made welcome by Nicholas and Myrna Nazzour.

I had many interviews with people and authorities knowledgeable about Soufanieh. These included His Holiness, Moran Mar Ignatius Zaka I, the Syrian Orthodox Prince Patriarch of Antioch; also, Gregoire III, Patriarch of Melkite Catholics; Archbishop Dionysius Behnam Jajjawi, Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese; Father Elias Zahlaoui associated with Soufanieh from the beginning; Father Boulos Fadel (Myrna’s Spiritual Director succeeding Fr. Malouli). I found great cooperation from all, including the friends of the local Soufanieh community. The love that flowed between all these people, the spirit of unity, was evident.

The Virgin Mother had told Myrna in 1982 to open the door of their home to all. I observed the door of Virgin’s House of Soufanieh, which is the Nazzour home, opened daily to people of all faiths. They came from different countries and prayed before the Icon of Soufanieh. These included Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. Always there was respect from all, always all were welcome. I admired the sacrifice of the Nazzour family in opening their home to all. Never has anything been disturbed or stolen.

Whenever I offered the Sacrifice of the Mass at Soufanieh Home before the Icon, I found the people most devout. They prayed long before the Mass began. I was able to use the chalice daily which the Pope used when he was in Damascus, May 2001, following the footsteps of St. Paul.

On my final evening of September 18, 2001 we were gathered for Mass and farewell in the upper terrace where Our Lady appeared. At the end of the Mass I expressed my gratitude for the charity and kindness of all. I was saying that I recognized a similarity between the message of Fatima in the West and Soufanieh in the East. Suddenly Father Elias Zahlaoui drew my attention that olive oil was exuding from the hands of Myrna who stood beside him. Then the youth present began singing a beautiful hymn to the Virgin of Soufanieh and wanted me to anoint them with oil from Myrna’s hands. I had said Mass near midnight. Planes had been grounded after the terrorist attacks. What difficulties awaited me to fly back to USA? I anticipated Mass near midnight as I never want a day without offering holy Mass. I took the abundant oil from Myrna’s hands, anointed each one. As always happens the oil began to cease when all were anointed.

While I had come to research for a book on Soufanieh I prayed that if God wanted oil to occur while I was there - if He felt that a miracle would make the book on Soufanieh I was to write more credible, its in His hands. If God wanted to bring forth oil, not for Myrna’s glory or mine, but only for the effectiveness of the message of Soufanieh, which is for love and unity of the family and the Church - only God can determine that and cause the miracle. I had no right to ask.

Before going to Soufanieh I did not know that the message of Soufanieh concerned family life. I thought the call was only for Christian Unity of the Universal Church, starting with the reunion of Orthodox and Catholics. Then I discovered Soufanieh concerns love and unity in the family as well. Now I understood, as director of the Fatima Family Apostolate, dedicated to the sanctification of families, why, by unforeseen circumstances, I was called to Soufanieh-Damascus. It became clear why I choose to fly there to a Community of Love and Unity, September 11, at the same time when hatred of extremists was being unleashed in my native land.

When there are millions of families filled with love and living in unity in Christ there will come Christian Unity. The first big effort is to unify the Feast of Easter so Orthodox and Catholics celebrate the Feast at the same time. Then the rest will follow.

Category:  Catholic Marian
Published: Fatima Family Apostolate ( Non-Profit)
Publish Date: 2002
Pages: 256
Binding: Paperback
Dimensions: 9 L x 6 W x 3/4 H
Price: $9.95

Publisher Official Website:

Fatima Family Apostolate is dedicated to the sanctification of the family and the individual through spreading the Fatima message.  A non-profit Catholic missionary apostolate specializing in the publishing and distribution of Catholic books designed to aid Catholics on their journey towards heaven.

The Fatima Family Apostolate was started at the encouragement of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and is endorsed by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family. It is now an international Apostolate, having members all over the world and publishes a
52-page quarterly magazine called the Immaculate Heart Messenger.

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Table of Contents
  • Dedication
  • Prayer to Our Lady of Soufanieh
  • Preface: Light from the East—in the Arab World
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Overview of the “Pearl of the East”
  • Chapter 2. Historic Syria, Christians, Muslims and Mary
  • Chapter 3. Signs of the Finger of God Here
  • Chapter 4. Transfer of the Icon and Healings
  • Chapter 5. Interview with Fr. Elias Zahlaoui, an Apostle of Soufanieh
  • Chapter 6. Interviews with Myrna and the Soufanieh Family
  • Chapter 7. The Family Is Called to be a Domestic Church
  • Chapter 8. Interviews with Hierarchy in Damascus
  • Chapter 9. Our Lady of Kazan, Fatima and Soufanieh
  • Chapter 10. Messages Given to Myrna Nazzour from Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary
  • Chapter 11. Soufanieh Is for Now and the Future
  • Backcover

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