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July 10th


The Massabkian Maronite Martyrs

Francis, Abdel Moati and Raphael
Those who sacrificed their lives for their faith in Christ in Damascus in 1860.

They were known for their piety, abundance of wealth, generosity of morals, good treatment and sympathy for the poor and needy. This is the summary of their martyrdom:
In 1860, on the day the Muslims in Damascus and the Druze in southern Lebanon revolted against the Christians, our martyrs, along with a large number of Christians, took refuge in the monastery of the Franciscan monks in Damascus, when the Muslims set fire to the Christian neighborhood.

And Francis remained alone in the church, kneeling before the statue of the Sorrowful Mother, praying, unperturbed. After midnight, a crowd of rabble-rousers, armed to the teeth, entered the monastery by force. The refugees panicked, some fled, and some hid. The rest rushed to the church to take refuge in it. So the mob started shouting: "Where is Francis Msabaki? We are looking for Francis." Francis approached them, unafraid, saying to them: “I am Francis Massabki, what do you ask for?” They answered him: We came to save you and your family on the condition that you deny the Christian religion and embrace Islam, otherwise you will all perish. Francis answered them: "We are Christians and die according to the religion of Christ. We Christians do not fear those who kill the body, as the Lord Jesus said."

أعياد القديسين
تموز - يوليو

July 17th

Saint Marina

This saint was born in Qalamoun, in northern Lebanon. And her father was devout. Her mother died at a young age, so her father renounced the world, and came to the Monastery of Qannoubine in the Holy Valley with his daughter, who dressed her as a man and became a monk without the monks knowing her secret. I was known to them as Brother Marinos.

Marinos, despite his youth, was devoted to practicing monastic virtues with precision and activity. Silence and modesty accompany the dim gaze, making his girdle a veil that obscures the features of his face and eyes, and does not make his voice heard. One day the chief sent him to the neighboring town on a mission to the monastery, so he was forced to stay with a friend of the monks called Phenutius, who had a young daughter, who had fallen into adultery and became pregnant after a while. Her father got very angry, so she told him that the monk Marinos had raped her, the night he stayed with them. So her father hurried to the monastery and complained about the matter to the president. He was amazed when he knew about his monk's purity and piety. So Marinos summoned and scolded him, and he did not say a word of his exoneration. The president was confused, the silence promised an admission of guilt, and Marinos was sentenced to be expelled from the monastery. Marinos surrendered to God's will and continued at the door of the monastery, praying and crying, living from the leftovers of the monks' table. His father had passed away.

As for the daughter, she gave birth to a boy. Her father brought him to the monastery and gave him to Marinos, saying: Lord, your son!


July 20th

Prophet Elijah - Mar Elias


 This prophet was from the tribe of Levi, from the clan of Aaron. It was about the year 890 B.C., in the days of Asa, king of Judah and Ahab, king of Israel. He was famous for his boldness and zeal to worship the true God and keep his laws. (See Third Book of Kings).
And Ahab had gone to the wrath of the Lord, he and his wife Jezebel, more than all the kings of Israel. So the Lord sent Elijah to say to him: “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, there will be no dew or rain in these years except at my word.” And his prophecy was fulfilled.
And he dwelt over against the Jordan, where the Lord commanded the ravens, and it was his strength. And when the rain was prolonged and the river water dried up, he went by the command of the Lord to Zareft Sidon, where he was a guest of a poor widow, and she and her son protected her from hunger with the verse of the flour jar, and it did not empty, and the oil bottle did not decrease, and his resurrection of her son from death.
Then he hid from the face of Ahab, who was seeking him to kill him. He appeared before him and warned him to leave the commandments of the Lord. And the hand of the Lord was with him. And Isabel was angry and sent threatening him with death, so he fled to Beersheba and then to the wilderness, desperate and hungry, so an angel came to him with food and water twice, and he slept in a cave. Then the angel of the Lord called to him: "What is wrong with you here, Elijah?"  And he said: “I am zealously jealous of the Lord, the God of hosts, because the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant and have broken your altars and killed your prophets with the sword, and I am left alone, and they have sought my life to take it.” So the Lord commanded him to go back to defending the truth. So he rebuked the king and his wife, and took Elisha as his disciple. So he was jealous of the law of the Lord, and God supported him with the power of miracles. And he went with Elisha to the Jordan River, and Elijah hit the water with his mantle, and it split in two, so that both of them passed on dry land.
Elijah was mentioned repeatedly in the Bible, especially in the transfiguration of the Lord on Tabor. And according to the tradition - perhaps based on what came in the prophecy of Malachia (Chapter 4: 5-6) - that Elijah will appear with Enoch before the general resurrection, and they will precede the Antichrist, preach to people, and announce the imminent coming of the Lord to the general judgment. His ascent was in the fiery chariot in the year 880 BC. His prayers be with us. Trustworthy!

July 23rd

Saint Charbel

St. Charbel's feast is on the 23rd of July, which is the anniversary of his priestly ordination, but the Maronite Church always celebrates this feast on the third Sunday of July.

Saint Charbel was born on May 8, 1828, in Bekaa Kafra, North Lebanon, in the highest village in Lebanon. His father, Anton Makhlouf, and his mother, Brigitta, were known for their true piety.
Youssef left his father's house at the age of twenty-three and intended to become a monk in the Lebanese Maronite Order. He entered the novitiate at the Monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouk, then moved to the Monastery of Saint Maroun in Annaya, where he completed his second year of novitiate. The presidents appointed him as a student, so he was sent to Kfifan Monastery, where he spent six years studying philosophy and theology. He was brought up there by saintly monks, especially Father Ni'matullah Al-Hardini, known as the "Kfifan saint." He was ordained a priest, in Bkerke, by Archbishop Youssef Al-Marie on July 23, 1859.
After his ordination, Father Sharbel resided in the Monastery of Saint Maron in Annaya for 16 years, practicing the highest monastic virtues. Especially the virtues of humility and obedience.
And God has rewarded splendid miracles through his hand in the monastery, including the “Ayaat al-Sarraj” which the servant filled for him with water instead of oil, and it illuminated for him the hours of his nightly prayers.
He asked his superiors, by the inspiration of God, to be locked up in the hermitage of the Annaya Monastery, and they gave him permission to do so in 1875, where he spent 23 years.
He unleashed, in the hermitage, all the desires of his generous heart. So he doubled his austerity deeds and increased his passion for meditation, prayer, and immersion in God, until he became "a person drunk with God"... One of his austerities was that he was kneeling on a plate of canes with thorny letters. He wears anointing on his body, sleeps little, prays a lot, and works in the field as hand labor according to the hermit law.
Soon, the knowledge of his holiness spread, so people began to go to him to obtain his blessing and seek from him the cure of their diseases and the fertility of their seasons.
God has performed many verses on his hand in his life.
And in the year 1898, in the week before Christmas, the hermit began to say Mass as was his custom. As soon as he recited the words of sanctification and reached the height of the cup and the oblation, reciting the prayer "Oh Aba al-Haq", until he was struck by paralysis, so he continued raising the cup and the oblation with his fingers convulsing over it. His companion, Father Makarios, was able to remove the chalice and communion from his hands and carry him to his room. He suffered severe pains for eight days, without stopping to complete his Mass, until I quietly gave up his soul on Christmas Eve 1898.
Father Charbel was buried in the public cemetery of Al-Deir. On the night of his burial, the people of the neighborhood saw a light shining over his tomb, and the light appeared repeatedly throughout 45 nights.


July 31st

The martyrs are monks of Saint Maron

The Maronite Church celebrates the feast of the martyrs, the monks of Saint Maron
On July 31 of each year.

These monks lived in the monasteries of northern Syria, near northern Lebanon. And they were firmly attached to the Catholic belief, according to the teaching of the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, held in the year 451, which says that in Christ
Two divine and human natures against Eutyches and his followers.

So Sawira rose up against them with the help of King Anastas, who installed him as Patriarch of Antioch. Three hundred and fifty monks and many other monks and bishops were killed in the year 517, so their surviving brothers raised a petition to the Roman Pontiff, Pope Hermesda (514-523). They show him how their brothers were martyred. And the damages caused to them by Patriarch Sawira and his companion Boutros Al-Qassar and their followers.

The Pope answered them with a letter dated the following year, that is, the year 518, in which he consoled them and urged them to resist persecution with courage. Historians, especially Taufanos and Tawafilos Al-Rahawi the Maronite, have proven the truth of Sawira's persecution of Catholics, especially monks, and his killing of a large number of them, referring to these three hundred and fifty martyr monks. Since ancient times, the Maronite sect has celebrated them, considering them to be its ancestors and intercessors who are answered by God. Pope Benedict XIV circulated forgiveness to all the churches of the sect, which was granted by Pope Clement XII in 1734 to the churches of the Maronite monks.

Their prayers are with us. Trustworthy!

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