Monday, March 1, 2010

Carol Saba on Monasticism in Antioch

Those of you who read French should keep an eye on the blog Orthodoxie. In addition to lots of news about Orthodox goings-on in Paris and other random tidbits that don’t always reach the Anglosphere, they regularly publish a kind of newsletter about goings-on in Antioch, written by one Carol Saba, called Croniques Antiochiennes. Honestly, Mr. Saba does a much better job of doing what this blog tries to do. In the current edition, there is a note about the monastic revival of the 20th century that I thought was worth translating.

Monastic Revival in the Patriarchate of Antioch during the 20th Century
Twelve monastic communities revived and prospering once more! Thanks to God and to the efforts of men and women of God!
Several factors during the course of the 20th century, notably the renewal brought about starting in the middle of the century by the Orthodox Youth Movement of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, have permitted the development of the monastic movement and its blossoming, here and there, in Syria and Lebanon, of men’s and women’s monasteries that renew the ancient traditions. A good dozen monasteries are at the origin of this movement of renewal, which is making the ancient monastic tradition of Antioch flourish and has reprised the work done in formerly abandoned monasteries. These monasteries are:
-the monastic community of St. James (nuns) at Dedeh, to the south of Tripoli in Lebanon
-the monastic community of St. George (monks) at Dayr el-Harf, Mount Lebanon
-the community (monks) of the Holy Archangel Michael at Baskinta (Mount Lebanon)
-monastery (monks) of Our Lady of Hamatoura, in the region of Kousab, north Lebanon
-monastic community (monks) of St. Silouan the Athonite at Douma, Mount Lebanon
-monastery (nuns) of St. John the Baptist at Douma
-monastery (nuns) of Our Lady of Kaftoun, north Lebanon
-monastery (nuns) of Our Lady Nouriyeh, near Tripoli, Lebanon
-monastery (monks) of Saint George at Homeira, Syria
-monastery (nuns) of Our Lady of Bloumana, near Tartus, Syria
-monastery (monks) of Our Lady of Balamand, near Tripoli, Lebanon
-monastery (nuns) of the Entrance of the Theotokos in the Temple, Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon
We will return with photographic reports about the foundation of these monastic communities and the history of the places in which they have renewed the monastic tradition.
As these reports are published, I will make sure to translate and link to them here.


npmccallum said...

For those who don't speak French, I've created a "Yahoo Pipe" which automatically translates the feed from French to English. The translation quality isn't very good, but it might be somewhat helpful.

bottomsup said...

She forgot the St. George and Cherubim Monasteries in Saidnaya, Syria! The brotherhood has around 17 monks and three nuns and seems to be rapidly growing. They act as a spiritual powerhouse for Orthodox in Southern Syria. Glory to God!

Samn! said...


I think she didn't mention the monasteries at Saidnaya specifically because these monasteries have been in continuous, healthy operation for centuries... the ones she listed are just those that had been started or re-started during the 20th century....

bottomsup said...

Hmmm... I just spent seven months at St. George improving my Arabic and learning about Antiochian Christianity. If I understand correctly, both St. George and Cherubim were once maintained by Saidnaya's main monastery "Deir Saydi". However, it became to much for the sisters to handle three locations at once and Patriarch Ignatius asked Fr. Yohanna Talli to begin a brotherhood at the St. George location. In 2001 or so, the Cherubim monastery was also transferred to Fr. Yohanna's care.

I don't really know if that counts as starting or re-starting. Perhaps its in its own classification. Regardless, I'm hopeful that people will take the time to visit this loving and warm brotherhood if they ever visit Syria and Lebanon.

If I remember correctly, one of the monks at St. George told me that Fr. Yohanna, Metropolitan Ephraim Kyriakos and Fr. Elias Touma knew each other from the strongest days of the Orthodox Youth Movement in Syria and Lebanon. They have maintained a strong bond over the years and keep in frequent contact, exchanging practical and spiritual advice with each other.

Anyway, its all very good.

-The Monk Evphrosynos

(I have no idea why my name came up as "Bottomsup". I'm almost certain this has to do with my computer near-illiteracy)