Lebanon, Our Lady of Lebanon, Harissa, 1970, in silvered bronze (51mm), obverse, statue of Our Lady of Lebanon with cloud behind and at sides the date 1904 in English and Arabic (see footnote for significance), reverse, Our Lady of Lebanon Basilica on the top of the hill of Harissa, 'the rock', inscription above translates to, 'The Remembrance of the First Dome in Building the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon', and at the base, '1970 May 31, Harissa'. Hairlines, good very fine.
In 1904 the Catholic Church celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception which Pope Pius IX had proclaimed in 1854. Catholic leaders in Lebanon decided to mark the occasion by erecting a bronze statue of Mary Immaculate on the Rock of Harissa overlooking the city of Jounieh near the Mediterranean Sea. The monumental statue made in France was named Our Lady of Lebanon. It was officially inaugurated on 3 May 1908 and has been celebrated as Our Lady of Lebanon's feast day ever since. Over the years the crowds of believers grew and eventually the church was not large enough to accommodate them so it was decided to build a bigger church. On 31 May 1970 the foundation stone for the new basilica was laid by His Beatitude Maronite Patriarch Paul-Pierre Meouchy in the presence of the then President of Lebanon, Charles Helou, and the Prime Minister Rachid Karame and other dignitaries.