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Saint Maron Monastery

  • religious site

Annaya, Jbeil district

Located in Annaya within Byblos (Jbeil), in northern Lebanon, this site is the hermitage and burial of Saint Charbel, a famous iconic Maronite monk and priest from Lebanon. In the peaceful green of Annaya rests the remains of the saint Lebanese Mar Charbel who was born May 8, 1828 at Bqa'aqafra, one of the highest villages in the Cedars region, in the north. Mar Charbel is now an object of worship and a supreme example of hard work and absolute devotion to God. Moreover, from an early age he was nicknamed “The Holy” because of his great piety. In 1875, he retired to the hermitage overlooking the valley Ehmej, which was later transformed into a fervent pilgrimage, one of the busiest in the country. He lived there in the greatest austerity, 23 years until his death in December 24, 1898 while celebrating Christmas mass at the age of 70. In 1965 He was then beatified, which means he was declared as a deceased person, to be among the blessed and entitled to specific religious honor. In October 1977, he was canonized, which means the church declared after his death that he was a saint, and then he was included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. The monastery of Mar Maroun Annaya is a simple, squat building, with a statue of Saint Charbel’s arm raised to the sky in the outdoor courtyard with a wrought iron fence. It also contains a small church which is constantly illuminated by the prayers and wishes of believers, and small museum objects that belonged to Saint.