By Guita G. Hourani
Rafka and the Cross Cassette by Lena Farah and Pierre Basbous
This newly released cassette of six hymns is dedicated to Blessed Rafqa and her passion for the Cross.
Rafqa and the Cross, lyrics by Pierre Basbous; The Way of the Promised Land, lyrics by Father Raphael Matta; The Saint of Lebanon, lyrics by Father Nabil Mouaness and Pierre Basbous.
Rafqa's Life History, lyrics by Father Jean Wehbe; The Way of Glory, lyrics by Father Yohanna Khawand, who is the resident hermit at the Monastery of Lady of Tamish (Artemis) in Lebanon; and Before Your Tomb, which is meditative.
The music was composed by Pierre Basbous and arranged by Mario Nakhouzi at Media Sound Studio, Beirut, Lebanon. The cassette was produced by Saint Joseph's Monastery in Grabta, Batroun District, Lebanon. Blessed Rafqa's tomb is located here.
Lena Farah, the soloist, who sounds like an angel, brings to mind the voice of beloved Fayrouz. The music is both enchanting and serene, enhanced by lyrics that are simple, prayerful and supplicating. The saintly Rafqa is described in the following lyrics:
RAFQA AND THE CROSS
You lived in poverty - a life of fasting and prayer.
The lyrics resemble those of the hymn, "The Saint of Lebanon", because of the plea for Divine intervention in the dangerous times being faced by Lebanon and its people.
THE SAINT OF LEBANON
Your people cry out to you, Rafqa.
Blessed Rafqa's cause for canonization as a saint is being presented to the Sacred Congregation in Rome. There is hope that her canonization will take place during the 2000 Year Jubilee.
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