Key Dates

October 1, 1998Edmond FricoteauxOlivier Bonnassies, Pierre Saurat, and the City of Nazareth meet to discuss the construction of a museum in Nazareth dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Notre Dame de France decides to start raising funds to support this museum.

 December 24, 1999: Bethlehemhosts the Night of Peace attended by representatives fromthe 12 traditional Christian Churches of the Holy Land. Eighty delegations from different countries come to bring 135 Marian works of art to the Nativity scene. Shortly after, the Mayor of Nazareth asks Olivier Bonnassies and Notre Dame de France  to move forward with the museum project.

June 11-13, 2000: After meeting with all the Christian Churches of Jerusalem to obtain their in-principle agreement to participate in the creation of the International Mary of Nazareth,Center Olivier Bonnassies finds a location in Nazareth to build the future center.

August-September 2000Bishop Perrier of Lourdes, with the support of Bishop Marcuzzo of Nazareth, and Cardinal Comastri of Loretto ask Olivier Bonnassies to create a non-profit organization to carry out the Mary of Nazareth Project.

May 18, 2001: Creation of the organization's bylaws and filing of its articles of incorporation (initially under the name of Association des Amis du Musée Marie de Nazareth).

March 19, 2002: Signing of the lease with the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition, for the use of the former school buildings situated about 300ft from the Basilica of the Annunciation.

October 25, 2002: Purchase of the first building in Nazareth (2 more will follow in December 2003 and May 2006).

December 9, 2002: Concert in the Saint-Honoré d’Eylau Church in Paris to promote the project.

April 2003: First issue of the Ave Maria Newsletter, featuring an interview with Bishop Marcuzzo.

October 4, 2003: Concert in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome to promote the project.

June 17, 2004: Meeting of the first sponsorship committee at AXA's head office in Paris.

September 15, 2004: First public showing of the movie Hail Mary  at the Kinopanorama movie theater in Paris.

November 2004: Firststage of the Marian Evangelization Center of Qattara in Lebanon.

January 25, 2005: The Chemin Neuf Community accepts to take charge of the Nazareth Center.

April 2005: First visit to AparecidaBrazil.

December 2005: First visit to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico.

June 19, 2007: Creation of the Marie de Nazareth  Foundation under the auspices of the Order of Malta Foundation.

March 25, 2007: Laying of the foundation stone of the International Mary of Nazareth Centerin Nazareth.

October 2009: Discovery of archaeological remains just steps from the entrance of theInternational Mary of Nazareth Center in Nazareth.

March 25, 2011: Inauguration of the International Mary of Nazareth Center and blessing of the chapel.

January 1, 2012: Official opening of the International Mary of Nazareth Center in Nazareth.

July 12, 2013: The bishop in charge of Kibeho, Rwanda, gives the authorization to build a Marian Evangelization Center there.