Rachkida – Mar Geryes

مار جرجس, Rachkida, Lebanon

Other Details

دير مار جرجس - راشكيده

Rachkida

Batroun

North

يعود بنا هذه الكنيسة إلى القرون الوسطى وتتألف من كنيستين:الكنيسة القديمة ‏جدرانها مكسوة بالجداريات. هي من النوادر في العمارة الكنيسة لأن فيها حنيتان يتوسطهم رسم المصلوب. مواضيع الجداريات: الشفاعة، العذراء على العرش محاطة بمار بطرس وبولس، ذبيحة النبي ابراهيم، آثار لجدرانيات أخرى باتت مندثرة.اما الكنيسة الثانية فهي أحدث عهداً ملاصقة للأولى، مبنية على النمط البازيليكي بثلاث اسواق، وامامها رواق بالحجر المعقود.بقيت الكنيسة مستخدمة الى القرن التاسع عشر حين نزح آخر موارنة البلدة. ومنذ عام ٢٠١٢ انطلق مشروع ترميم الكنيسة.This church is built in the medieval ages, and is composed of two parts:The old church has walls filled with frescoes. It is one of the very rare churches in which you can see the crucified drawn between two naves.The drawings are as follows:The Deisis, Mary the throne of wisdom, surrounded by Saints Peter and Paul, Abraham's sacrifice, in addition to different frescoes that are damaged and can hardly be seen now.The second church is just next to the first, but built in a later era, in a basilical form with three aisles.The church was still in use by the maronite community until the 19th century.Since 2012 a project to renew the church was launched.

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Enfeh – Deir Saydet el Natour

Deir Saydet el Natour, Hraiche, Lebanon

سيدة الناطور

Enfeh

Koura

North

The convent’s ancient origin is attached to a legend. A rich man of the region committed adultery; filled with remorse, he attached a padlocked iron chain to his ankle and threw the key into the sea-shore and survived on the fish brought to him by local fishermen, who called him the guardian of the cavern. One day, a fisherman brought him a fish, in whose entrails the hermit found the key of the padlock. He knew then that God had delivered him from his suffering, and he built a convent above the cavern. He dedicated it to The Mother of God, but it also took the name of the Guardian.

The daily life of the convent is regulated by the flow of visitors who come to fulfill vows and make prayers. Sister Catherine al-Jamal is the principal resident of Dayr al-Natour, and she has done everything within her power to restore it.

According to the Crusader document, the Monastery of the Presentation of Our Lady Natour was built by Cistercians. Indeed, the Church interior resembles that of the Cistercian Church of Balamand, built in 1157. Otherwise, the history of Dayr al-Natour is hidden in obscurity, although it is said that the local Orthodox community took it over after the departure of the Crusaders. Its name is almost unmentioned by historical sources during the Mamluk and most of the Ottoman period, although it is reported that French corsairs attacked the Monastery at the beginning of the eighteenth century and killed a monk.

In 1838, the Ottoman authorities gave permission to the Monastery to be rebuilt. In the second half of the nineteenth century, it contained several monks and a superior, and it possessed fifteen dunums of land. During the First World War, it was bombarded by a Russian ship. A few years later, the Monastery lost its last Superior, Basilios Debs, who became Archbishop of Akkar. After his departure, monastic life ended at Dayr al-Natour.

During the twentieth century, the deserted monastery became a refuge for shepherds from the neighboring regions. In 1973, Sister Catherine al-Jamal moved to Dayr al-Natour and began to restore it from its ruin.

Maghdouhe – Our Lady of Awaiting

Basilica of Our Lady of Mantara - بازيليك سيدة المنطرة, Maghdoucheh, Lebanon

مقام سيدة المنطرة العجائبي مغدوشة

Maghdoucheh

Saida

South

Our Lady of Mantara is a Melkite Greek Catholic Marian shrine in Maghdouché, Lebanon, discovered on 8 September 1721 by a young shepherd. The grotto, which according to a legend dates to ancient times, was subsequently cared after by Monsignor Eftemios Saïfi, Melkite Catholic bishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Sidon. The shrine consists of a tower crowned with the statue of the Virgin and Child, a cathedral, a cemetery and a sacred cave believed to be the one where the Virgin Mary rested while she waited for Jesus while he was in Tyre and Sidon. (Women were not allowed in some cities). Since its discovery, it has been steadily visited by families particularly each year on the occasion of the feast of the Nativity of Mary on 8 September.

Ancient era
Many historians agree that the devotion to the Virgin Mary in Lebanon replaced the Phoenician worship of Astarte. Temples and shrines to Astarte were converted to Christian places of worship, honoring the Virgin. This is also true in Maghdouché where within the vicinity of Our Lady of Awaiting are the remains of a shrine to Astarte.

Middle Ages
During the reign of Emperor Constantine, his mother, Saint Helena of Constantinople, requested in 324 the destruction of all pagan temples and idols dedicated to Astarte. The Astarte shrine in Maghdouché was probably destroyed at that time and converted to a place of devotion to the Holy Mother.

Since the early Christian era, the inhabitants of Maghdouché have venerated the cave where the Virgin Mary rested while she waited for her son, Jesus to finish preaching in Sidon. Saint Helena asked the Bishop of Tyre to consecrate a little chapel at the cave in Maghdouché. She sent the people of Maghdouché an icon of the mother and child and some altar furnishings. Historians believe that Saint Helena asked the people to name the chapel, and they named it "Our Lady of Awaiting" because it was there that the holy mother waited for her son.[4] Mantara is derivative of the Semitic root ntr, which means “to wait."

Saint Helena provided funds from the imperial treasury for the maintenance of the chapel. The funding continued for three centuries of Byzantine rule in Phoenicia until Khalid ibn al-Walid defeated Emperor Heraclius at the Battle of the Yarmuk.[4] While the caliph Omar, who became ruler of Jerusalem, was a pious and humble man, sparing Christendom's holiest shrines and being tolerant of his Christian subjects, the Arab rulers of the rest of Byzantium were less tolerant of the Christians, especially in the maritime cities of Tyre, Sidon, Beirut, Byblos, and Tripoli.[4] After the majority of the Sidonians converted to Islam to receive promised privileges and immunities, the people of Maghdouché withdrew to higher elevation up Mount Lebanon. The caliphate had recognised the Christians of Mount Lebanon as autonomous communities, paying a fixed tax. Before abandoning their village, they concealed the entrance to the cave of Our Lady of Awaiting with stones, earth and vines. The people left the village through obscure mountain paths to the strongholds of Christian Lebanon. The legend of Our Lady of Awaiting was passed down to the exiled generations of Maghdouché for one thousand years.

The people of Maghdouché did not return to their ancestral home despite the arrival of the Crusaders in Sidon. The Crusaders spent most of the 12th and 13th centuries in the shadow of Maghdouché without ever suspecting the sacred cave's existence even though they built a small fort, called La Franche Garde, within meters of the hidden entrance to the cave.

Modern era
The people of Maghdouché only returned to their ancestral village during the reign of the Druze Prince Fakhreddin II (1572-1635). The prince, who was considered a tolerant and enlightened ruler of his day and age, believed in equality amongst the diverse religious followers of his Lebanon. To demonstrate this equality, he appointed a Maronite Catholic as Prime Minister, a Muslim as Minister of the Interior, a Druze as Army Commander and a Jew as Finance Minister. His reign was a rare example of non-sectarianism, and it soon became the most prosperous principality in the Ottoman Empire.

It was not easy to relocate the sacred cave even though the men of Maghdouché worked for hundreds of years near the grotto, pulling down the stones of the Crusader fort for building material for their new homes. The cave was finally rediscovered on 8 September 1721 by a young shepherd when one of his goats fell in a well-like opening in the porous limestone. Wanting to save his goat, the shepherd made a rope from vine twigs, tied it to a tree, and descended into the hole, but the rope broke and he fell. When his eyes became accustomed to the darkness of the grotto, the boy saw a soft glimmer of a golden object, which turned out to be Saint Helena’s icon of the Mother and Child. The boy climbed up the stone walls and ran to the village to tell his discovery.

Greek Catholic

Ain Kfaa – Saint Rouhana

St rouhana church - كنيسة مار روحانا الرعائية, Ain Kfaa, Lebanon

كنيسة مار روحانا

Ain Kfaa

Jbeil

Mount Lebanon

بناها الخوري يوحنا إبن الخوري فرج الحداد، وقد عُثرَ على قرطاس في كنيسة تحوم يؤيّد ذلك.
وكنيسة مار روحانا مشيّدة على بقايا برج روماني قديم آثاره ما زالت ماثلة، فزاويته الجنوبيّة الغربيّة راسخة على حجارة ضخمة من نفس مقلع حجارة بعلبك بحسب الخبراء. اما درج الكنيسة فداخليّ، وفي خاصرة حنية الكنيسة حجرة مخفية أعدّها القدماء مدفنًا لكنوزهم.
وبالقرب من هذا المعبد، اكتشف الأثريّون مدافن قديمة واستدلّوا على منزلة مهمة لمن سكن في هذه الأماكن الأثريّة.
تجدر الإشارة إلى أنّ مار روحانا المرنّم هو لقب محبّب للسريان معناه الروحانيّ، يطلق على مار قبريانوس الناسك.
St Rouhana’s church - Aïn kfaa
It was built by Fr. Youhanna son of Fr. Faraj Al Haddad, as it is attested in a manuscript belonging to the parish of Thoum.
The church is built on top of an old roman tour, the stones of which are quarried from the same source as the Great temples of Baalbek. The church has an indoor stone ladder.
Near the church many roman ruins where found and a noble necropolis.
St Rouhana the cantor is a title given by the syriacs and is translated to "the spiritual", it is given to St Cyprian the hermit.