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Thread: Keserwan - Bzoummar

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    Default Keserwan - Bzoummar

    Bzoummar also Bzommar (Arabic: ) is a village in Lebanon. It is located 36 km northeast of Beirut at an elevation ranging between 920 and 950m above the Mediterranean. It is part of the Caza of Keserwan. Bzoummar is home to the 250 year-old Convent of the Armenian Catholic Church that was built in 1749.

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    The Armenian Catholic church separated from the Orthodox Church in 1054 to follow the Catholic teachings. [Council of M.E. Churches, 1999, p. 199]

    Towards the end of 1749, and with the help of the Maronite Patriarch and the El Khazen land lords in Keserwan, the Patriarchal Priesthood Institution for the Armenian Catholics was built in Bzimar, Keserwan. The Bzimar Monastery is the only Armenian Catholic one Lebanon and the language used is the native Armenian language. Within the church’s organization, the highest authority is for the Patriarch who is joined by 14 bishops. The church controls two orphanages and 11 schools, in Lebanon. [Council of M.E. Churches, 1999, p. 206]

    Bzimar monastery sits atop one of the green hills in Keserwan, amongst the pine and oak trees, at an altitude of 930m and covering an area of around 200 hectares; the monastery is neighbouring our Lady of Harissa and Bkerke, the Maronite Patriarch’s winter residence.

    The monastery which was built in 1749, due to the effort of the Armenian Patriarch Abraham Arzean, tells so many stories and histories of Armenians and Lebanese.
    Patriarch Arzean, who was subjected to persecution and was forced to vacate his seat in Aleppo after a series of 4 imprisonments and an exile to the Isle of Arwad, decided to realise his dream and built a monastery consecrated to the virgin Mary, in the land the was gifted to him by the Khazen family. Unfortunately for Patriarch Arzean, he never did see or live in the monastery, as he died shortly before the completion of it.

    Bzimar Monastery was a great witness to the miseries of WWI, when between 1914 and 1917, the Ottomans committed genocide at a huge scale towards the Armenian in Turkey and at a lesser, albeit sizeable scale towards the Christians of Lebanon. The Ottoman imposed famine on Mount Lebanon, which resulted in the death of the third of the population and the migration of another third, showed the compassion of the Armenians towards their new found land. The Armenian convent in Bzimar opened its doors to more that 250 families during that period, offering them food, shelter and guidance; this act left the monastery dilapidated and on the verge of bankruptcy; a benefactor rescued the monastery and helped in its renovation.

    The monastery prepared so many priests, bishops and Patriarch, especially after the construction of the Priesthood Institution section in 1963; however, its role was not limited to the spiritual section, as so many Armenian writes and historians graduated from this religious institution.

    One of the most interesting sections of the Monastery is the Museum of Lebanese and Armenian heritages, telling the story of people who are proud Lebanese but are faithful to their history and roots. The museum was built in 1962 and was renovated in 1982, it spans across six large rooms, and display artefacts and historical objects collected by the inhabitants of the monastery for the last 250 years. On display are so many Phoenician (ancient Lebanese) pieces, potteries, silver and golden statutes and coins dating back to the era between 300BC and 300AD.

    In addition to the Phoenician collection, the museum displays statutes of Armenian gods before their conversion to Christianity. On display also is the first letter from St Peter, dating back to the eighth century and written of Papyrus is, as well as many religious garments weaved with threads of gold. A huge collection of robes, cassocks, collar, Sashes, Crosses, Crucifixes, Icons, etc. worn by previous Patriarchs and bishops is also on display in the museum; A thorn, said to be one of the thorns that formed the crown that was put on the Christ’s head before his crucifixion, form part of the museum, as well as relics from numerous Saints.

    The collection of the museum includes fish fossils and other fossils, dating back millions of years and probably collected from the Hjoula region in Jbeil, Lebanon. Oil and water paintings are also on display, with the main themes being religious and the terrible genocide committed against the Armenians in the early parts of the twentieth century.

    An interesting part of the Museum is the jewellery section on display, which once belonged to Princess Jihane, the wife of Prince Bachir II, ruler of Lebanon in the 19th century. The story goes that the Grand Emir Bachir, fell in love with a “sharkas” girl, but could not communicate well with her due to her lack of understanding of the Arabic language spoken at the time. The Armenian Patriarch of the time, Gregorios VI, offered help and sent Bishop Hagob Peter Holassian VII to teach the girl the language of the Emir. The girl, Jihane, not only learned Arabic, but decided to convert to Christianity, to which the Bishop duly obliged. This act triggered a chain of events that led to the Emir converting to Christianity and may have triggered so many events that is still affecting Lebanon up till our days. The Emir Bachir spent so many retreats in Bzimar and offered some of his wealth to the monastery. When Emir Bachir died exiled in Istanbul, a Christian funeral was held by Bishop Antoine Hassoun (the Armenian Patriarchal representative) and the corpse was buried in the Armenian Church of Christ the Saviour, until his coffin was moved to Beit-El-Deen in 1947.

    The monastery is home to about 1500 Armenian manuscripts, as well as another 20 in other languages; it also contains a huge library with a collection of more than 45,000 books covering a plethora of topics and subjects, especially Armenian, Lebanese and Levantine subjects.

    A historical church, built by Patriarch Michel Boutros III in 1771, is at the centre of the Monastery and is the resting place of six Armenian Patriarchs.

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    THE ROLE OF THE PATRIARCHAL SEAT OF BZOUMMAR AT THE SERVICE OF LEBANON

    "The history of the Convent of Bzoummar identifies itself with certain chapters of the history of 'Lebanon' "declared the future President of the Lebanese Republic, Mr. Charles HELOU on the occasion of the Bicentennial of the Convent of Bzoummar, in 1949.
    The Lebanese Mountain had adopted Mgr. Ardzivian, this man full of faith and courage, as well as his Patriarchate. Relations, since the beginning, full of cordiality and kindliness between Maronites and Armenians, had pushed the Patriarch Jacques Rouad to grant them the right to construct a convent at Kreim in 1720; the Patriarch Joseph El-Khazen welcomed Mgr. Ardzivian home for some time after h was rescued from he island of Rouad. He had forbidden all priests of other oriental communities to hear confessions of the maronites faithful but "this prohibition, did not concern, he wrote, our dear brother Abraham and his priests. They all have power to confess, to celebrate the Holy Mysteries and to preach everywhere they want in our churches" (P. Raphaël, Op. cit. p. 37). The utmost of Reciprocal confidence, Mgr. Ardzivian would attend sessions of the Lebanese Council in 1736 and will sign its Acts. Mgr. Ardzivian in his turn interceded with Rome beside the Prefect of the Propaganda to push the request of Father Arsène Abd el-Ahad, Superior General of the Lebanese Religious who came to Rome to ask for financial aid in favor of his Order who were in debt. The Armenian Prelate named him Knight of the Church, using the privilege granted him quite lately by the Holy Father.
    This Armenian Community adopted with love by Lebanon, did not stop rendering the same treatment. The three Armenian convents were as many centers of help at the service of peoples of Lebanon.
    The high esteem that emir Béchir the Great had towards this Armenian Convent, made him consider Mgr. Jacques Holassian, General Vicar of the Patriarch and Gregoire-Pierre Vl, as one of the pillars of his government; whom he kept often at his home. Mgr. Jacques was at the same time the confessor of Hussni Gihane, the emir's wife, in whom he trusted in teaching her religious instruction and conversion to Christianism.
    During the darkest days of his political career, the emir Béchir donated in that same convent his riches. He died in exile and the Armenians buried him in their church in St. Sauveur in Constantinople, from where he was transferred to Beiteddine in 1946.

    These good relations heightened the prestige of this Convent and imposed the respect towards all Armenian names: honest people and devoted to the cause of Lebanon. Such were as well the first and the last of the "Moutaçarrif" or governors of the Lebanon: all two Armenians Catholics, Garabet Artine Daoud Pacha (1861-186 and Ohannès Kouyoumdjian Pacha (1912-1915) worked for the interest of Lebanon, defending them against their hierarchical chiefs of Constantinople. But before assuming their new office, these, two valorous Armenians came to consult their Fathers of Bzoummar, of whom the secular cohabitation had proven to be useful for the guidance of this country, object of internal disputes.
    These Fathers, while keeping their national physiognomy, had served Lebanon in the social, moral and cultural domains.


    This Patriarchal Institute provided a generation devoted to Lebanon; it inculcated this same spirit to all students that passed by Bzoummar, of whom we will mention only Rizcalla Hassoun (1823-1880) one of the great names of Lebanese journalism and one of its pioneers. Father Antoun Khandji (member of the institute of Bzommar) published in Arabic "Tarikh el-Ermen" (History of Armenia), edited in Jerusalem in 1868. Another member of the institute, Father Sikias published in Beirut Matboukh el-Ermen (Armenian Chronicles ) for the greatest glory of reciprocal understanding.

    Today, these centers of devotion at the service of Lebanon increased, thanks to the presence of 250.000 Lebanese Armenians, thanks also to the religious chiefs of these Communities established at Antélias, that came to shoulder the work of the Fathers of Bzoummar, enterprise at the service of Lebanon since two centuries.

    http://www.opuslibani.org.lb/egliseeng/008/Bzoummar.htm

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    The title needs to be fixed......
    Allah Yr7amak ya Gebran!!!

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    Thanks 2B

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    Quote Originally Posted by administrator View Post
    thanks 2b
    np.... ....
    Allah Yr7amak ya Gebran!!!

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    St Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church

    Tabouk will get married there
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