كنيسة مار بطرس وبولس
Visited 122 times, 1 Visit today
كنيسة مار بطرس وبولس
Visited 122 times, 1 Visit today
Our Lady of Ilige, Maifouq, Lebanon
The 3rd Patriarchal seat from 1120 to 1440 AD. This beautiful, small church dates to 1121 AD. There’s a tradition that the Monastery of Our Lady of Elij took the place of one of the train stations of the Roman road from Baalbak and the banks of Al Assi River to the North coast of Phoenicia. The apostles used this road during their trips between Antakya and the beaches of Palestine, and turning the place into a Christian one is attributed to them. (The apostles and students of St. Lucas).
The name of Elij is derived from the word “Eel”, from the Aramaic language, and it means “God of soft valley”. But from the Greek, it is derived from the word “Ellios” meaning “Goddess of the Sun”.
According to a Syriac inscription on the church wall (1277 AD.): “In the name of the eternally living God, in the year 1588 of the Greek era, this Jacobi temple was built for the Mother of God who prays for us, by the bishops Mark and John, in 1588 of the Greek era.” A cross was also engraved with a Syriac state “In You we conquer our enemy and in your name, we tread our haters”. There’s Syriac writing on the monastery’s wall: “In the name of the living God, in 1746 A.D, the two monk- brothers Amoun & Ming. It was established by four patriarches Botros, Ermia, Yaacoub, and Youhanna in 1121 A.D”.
The church is known for its ”Elij” icon of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ: while restoring it in 1985, Sisters of karlmalite-Harissa, researchers had found 10 different layers of paint, and the oldest one backed to the 10th century (every layer is over 100 year).
This monastery is the fourth oldest belonging to the Maronites. It is one of the most ancient Episcopal seats in Lebanon. It was built on the ruins of a pagan temple as mentioned before. It had witnessed all types of persecution and martyrdom for the name of Jesus Christ, in addition to the history and faith, in what it spared miracles and glorification of Virgin Mary. It is not an edifice, but it looks like a grotto, built in the valley amidst old trees, between the mountains and the rebellious course of two rivers, of soil-colored dabachi stones which cannot easily be seen under the walnut trees…
What is left of the monastery today are two floors. The church occupies the greatest part of the ground floor while the first floor contains a small loft and a wide hall. The patriarch lived on the upper floor, in the small loft, which can be reached either by an internal flight of stairs within the church, or by external stone stairs. There is also a secret access from the patriarch’s room to another hidden room or to the outside. A small window was opened in the patriarch’s room facing the Holy Sacrament and the icon of Our Lady of Elij over the main altar. Next to the church on the first floor, there are two rectangular rooms with low curved ceilings, open to each other by a small path on the west side, inside the separating wall.
The church is distinguished by its “Bema” (the throne in Greek), with stairs leading to it on the western side. The bema is a high tribune in the church where the first part of the Mass, the Liturgy of the Word, is celebrated, where the Patriarch sit with bishops. It is the only church in Lebanon that still keeping a bema. There are a number of basements (narrow tunnels) inside the walls used to hide and run during persecution, invasion and war. There is a library containing souvenirs: religious relics, photos, books, documentary, local products.
Monastery of Saint John Marcus Jbeil Lebanese Maronite Order, Byblos, Lebanon
مار يوحنا مرقس - جبيل
A beautiful Romanesque church, Eglise Saint Jean Marc is the cathedral church of Jbail-Byblos. The Church is dedicated to Saint Jean Mark, the patron saint of the town, who is said to have founded the first Christian community of Byblos. The church itself was built in 1115 A.D by the Crusaders, originally as the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. After their departure, earthquakes, invasions and other disasters have repeatedly damaged the structure, and for a few centuries it remained disused. In 1764, Emir Youssef Chehab, of the Druze dynasty that ruled a semi- autonomous Lebanon under the Ottomans, donated the church to L’Ordre Libanais Maronite (Lebanese Maronite Order) which subsequently restored and reopened in 1776 after re-dedicating it to St Jean Marc. British bombardments of Lebanon in 1840 caused further damage, but the church was restored yet again. Eglise Saint Jean Marc continues to serve the Maronite Christian community. One interesting feature in the church is its open- air domed baptistery on the northern side which dates from the original construction in 1115 A.D, The church is situated on Rue de Port, between the port and the archaeological area.
Hamatoura Monastery, Karm Saddeh, Lebanon
دير رقاد السيدة - حمطورة
On the northern side of the village of Kousba, is the monastery of Our Lady of Hamatoura, built in the rocky hollow of a high cliff which overlooks the holy valley of Kadisha. Hamatoura is 84km from Beirut.
The church of Saint Jacob is the most ancient part of the monastery, belonging to the 4th century, while a large cross from the 7th century rises above the outer doorway. Some quite well preserved frescoes dating back to the middle ages cover the walls of the church, one of which shows the Holy Virgin, Queen of Heaven, seated on a throne with the Child Jesus on her knees.
Near the monastery are two venerable churches, one dedicated to Saint Michael and the other to Saint John the Baptist. On the top of the hill one can see the church of St. George. Close by the monastery is a rocky cave where one may perceive the base of a stalagmite, where barren women come to pray in the hope of bearing a child, for this grotto was dedicated to the pagan goddess of fecundity.
Late in the 13th century, at Our Lady Monastery in Hamatoura, Saint Jacob began his ascetic life. Later, when the monastery was destroyed by the Mamlukes, he reestablished monasticism along the perimeter of the ruined monastery. In time, he rebuilt the monastery, regenerating and giving renewed vigor to monastic life in the area. His spiritual briskness, vivacity, and popularity among believers drew the attention of the Mamelukes who set their minds to stop his verve and determination and force him to convert to Islam. He stubbornly refused their relentless pressures. The Mamlukes killed him and burned the church. Today, believers and pilgrims are constantly reporting his apparitions, miraculous healings and other Grace-filled deeds.