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Our Lady of Bzommar

  • religious site

Bzommar, Keserwan district

The monastery of our Lady of Bzommar (Deir El-Saydet), located northeast of Beirut in Bzommar, Keserwan, is the only Armenian monastery in the Arab world after the Monastery of Jerusalem. It is located in the midst of a green hill that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. The structure is white in color and the roof is of red bricks. The halls are spacious with Gothic vaults. This monastery was originally a pagan temple. Its priests used to blow the horn once every year to call the villagers in order to gather, celebrate and hold ceremonies. In 1749, patriarch Abraham Peter I Ardzivian made it a seat for his patriarchy. In the church of the monastery, there is an image of the miraculous Lady of Sorrows, a name by which the Blessed Virgin Mary is referred to in relation to sorrows in her life. This image is attributed to either the artist Raphael Sanzio (1483-1521) or to Guerairo Barbieri (1591-1666). Our Lady of Bzommar is worshiped in Lebanon and in other places in the world, and many miracles have been attributed to her. In the monastery there are relics from the Holy Land of Armenia. There are also Armenian manuscripts embellished with rare miniatures and a library rich in oriental and occidental topics. The topics cover different fields of human knowledge and the archives could shed much light on certain aspects of the history of the Middle East in general and Lebanon in particular.