Deep-rooted in a monastic tradition

The Antonine Maronite Order was established in late XVIIth century thanks to the initiative of Mons. Gebrael Blouzani, who was by then bishop of Alep. Bishop Gebrael Blouzani was known for his saintliness and his piousness, and is behind the reform of the monastic life at the beginning of the XVIIIth century.
In 1673, Mons. Blouzani established the monastery of Our Lady at Tamish and made it his see,  applying therein a renewed type of monastic life.
After educating his monks, for a long period of time as stipulated in the regulations of the oriental monastic life, he chose from them a certain elite, in 1698, and sent them with the mission of rebuilding a monastery dedicated to Saint Chaaya, the monk from Alep. This monastery is located at the top of a hill known by the name Aramta located at the borders of Broumana village in the Metn region. There, the first monks built a new monastic community living the evangelical counsels (the religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience) and working at the service of the church, within the social realities.
On August 15, 1700, on the Assumption day, the first mass celebration took place in the said monastery, thus inaugurating a new beginning for the oriental monastic life in Mar Chaaya, site of a hundreds-year old monastic life.
Since then, our Antonine Maronite Order has been loyal to the tradition, to its religious heritage, to the image of the Christ praying at the top of the mountain or in desert places, announcing at the same time the Kingdom of God to the people, healing the sick and converting the sinners…The Antonine Maronite Order works constantly and stands as witness to the great source of the wealth of Christ to Christians and non-Christians alike, through the testimony of its children who answered the call of the Holy Spirit in a total self-abnegation and a total offering of oneself, as father Semaani says in his introduction to the Rules and Constitutions of the Order:
“…Seeing the exemplarity of your holy monks, their apostolate at the service of the community in order to announce the Gospel, as well as their merits in setting a good example and their obedience to their superiors in the Church, these monks are recognized by their superiors as well as by the people and constitute a pattern for other oriental families…
… by virtue of which your Rules are confirmed”.

Thus, the local Church takes into consideration the particularity of the Antonine Maronite Order and its mission in the service of the Church and neighbors, and it grants the Order its blessing, encouragements, and attention, and acknowledges it as being a confirmed expression of the oriental monastic life.
Within the same spirit, and urged by the Holy Spirit, Patriarchs Estephan Douayhi and later Blouzani and Aouad granted their benediction to the Order; then, in 1740, his Holiness the Pope Clement XII, confirmed the Constitutions of the Order by the papal brief “Father of Mercy” and granted it its canonical status of “a monastic congregation of pontifical right” along with the rights and privileges recognized to every monastic institution.

 



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