The Kfarsghab Laban's Homepage History of Kfarsghab - Monks in Qozhaya The Kfarsghab Laban's Homepage
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The Monastery of Qozhaya is the oldest, richest and most-known monastery of the Lebanese Maronite Order. It is located in the Qadisha Valley in the neighborhood of Kfarsghab(1).

The relations between the Monastery and Kfarsghab are very old, most probably prior to the formation of the Lebanese Maronite Order in 1699 and its establishment in Qozhaya in 1707. The popular tradition records the link between some families in Kfarsghab with the Monastery superiors (Habkouk family, known later as Khouri Giris family) as far as the end of the Seventeenth Century.

In the Eighteenth Century, some Kfarsghab families worked the land owned by Qozhaya as partners, under the Partnership system (Musharaka) prevailing then, and which is still in use in some villages (Al Fradiss, 3arbet Qozhaya, Shoumar, ...) but not in Kfarsghab anymore. Under this system, people cultivated the land of the landowner (2)- a sheikh or a monastery generally - for a part of the produce. Qozhaya continued to buy land in and around Kfarsghab all along the 19th Century. In 1830's, The Monastery bought rights for irrigating their land in Bane and Michimchayya from the source of Kfarsghab. For Kfarsghab, all that created an economic and social dependency with Qozhaya throughout the Eighteenth and the Nineteenth Centuries. It is said that Qozhaya monks created a school located between Ban and Kfarsghab for the basic education of the children of those two villages around the end of the Eighteenth Century(3).

The previous ties translated into Kfarsghab giving several of its sons to the Monastery as hermits, monks and superiors all along the Eighteenth and the Nineteenth Centuries. At one stage, this numbered over sixty monks, most of who were two brothers from each household. The Monastery records show that vocations from Kfarsghab started on 27 February 1710, and ceased on 17 December 1898 when Br Ephraim Saliba Abood II joined. Brother Ephraim died on 9 April 1947. The records also show that the monks from Kfarsghab were of deep faith and worked energetically for the good of the community. Two of them became Archbishops and several Superiors of Monasteries.(4) Below, you will find the names of some of our monks.(5)

The third important relation is to be found at the end of the Nineteenth Century.The Monastery was obliged by the Maronite Church Authorities to buy the lands of the impoverished Sheikhs due to the collapse of the silk industry, which constitued the main revenue in Lebanon at that time. To do so, Qozhaya needed cash because the Monastery depended also for most of its revenues on silk. The Monastery was therefore obliged to sell land in Kfarsghab and Ban. At that time,the early Kfarsghabi emigrants to Australia and the United States started sending back home the much needed cash, some to recover their lost lands from the Sheikhs, some to buy property to prepare their return. And This phenomenon was very common in Lebanon at that time.(6)

The history of the relations between Kfarsghab and its neighboring Qozhaya Monastery is full of events, exchanges, ... but also of respect and love. Qozhaya has a special place in the heart of every Lebanese for in the darkest moments of our Country, it sheltered, fed, educated and protected all those of us who were in need throughout the centuries. But for the people of kfarsghab, it is much more than that. Qozhaya is the Home of our hearts.

(1) - For Information on Qozhaya, see - the Monastery of Qozhaya Website
(2) - Coming Soon on this site, The evolution of land property in North Lebanon from 1700 to 1900
(3) - from A Concise History of Mount Lebanon of Sheikh Antonios Abi Khattar from Ain Tourine - Editor Dar Lahd Khater - Beirut 1983 - p. 122
(4) - From AKA website - the first exodus
(5) - Information taken from the book "Mar Antonios Qozhaya Monastery" by Fr. Antoine Mokbel - Private editor Ghazir - October 2000
(6) - See the Book "Inventing Home" by Akram Fouad Khater - University of California Press - 2001

Names of the natives of Kfarsghab who were monks in Qozhaya (to be completed)
Birth dates are estimated from the records of Qozhaya
NameCivil NameStatusBirthDeathTrialVowsComments
Fr. AntoniosNAHermit175610 Jun. 1856NA Was a model of privations and qualities. He ate only bread and oil.
Fr. Ephrem monk176014 Jul. 1833   
Br. Raphaël I monk178823 Oct. 1878   
Fr. Maroun I Superior1790   Superior of Qozhaya from 1843 to 1845
Br. Estephan monk179026 Dec. 1851   
Br. Yaacoub monk179125 Apr. 1876   
Br. Raphaël II monk180015 Jul. 1864   
Br. Tobias monk18015 Dec. 1871   
Br. Boulos monk182010 Sep. 1880   
Br. Biyammine monk182325 Dec. 1903   
Br. Zakka monk182820 Jun. 1888   
Br. Abdallah monk18329 Dec. 1917  participant in the revolt 1875-1878
Br. Andreus IGebrayelmonk18333 Jan. 19051 Feb. 185127 Mar. 1853 
Br. Ephrem IFrancis Salibamonk183510 May 18808 Jan. 185713 Mar. 1864 
Br. AntoniosSaba Boutrosmonk1837 1 Jan. 1857 From the Laban Family
Br. YouhannaLouismonk1838 3 Dec. 185325 Jan. 1855 
Fr. Maroun IIYoussefSuperior1839 4 May 1857ca 1859Superior of Qozhaya from 1886 to 1890 - Built the place known s AlZiara as well as the dome of the church. Improved the property of Aïn Baqra and built the water tank of Aïn Al Smaileh
Br. MakariosMikhaÏlmonk1839 11 Feb. 185724 Apr. 1859 
Br. MaximusGhazimonk1840 11 Feb. 185724 Apr. 1859 
Br. Andreus II monk184225 Aug. 1887  participant in the revolt 1875-1878
Fr. Boutros monk1847ca 1920ca 1865ca 1867one of the leaders of the revolt 1875-1878
Br. Elias monk1852  17 Jan. 1872participant in the revolt 1875-1878
Br. Moubarak monk185225 Feb. 1876   
Br. Ignatius monk18557 Sep. 1881 15 Feb. 1875 
Br. Mattia monk1857  17 Jan. 1877 
Br. Andreus IIIElias Abboudmonk1875 11 Apr. 1895  
Br. HannaShakermonk1876 19 Jan. 1896  
Br. Ephrem IISaliba Abboudmonk18769 Apr. 194719 Jan. 1896  

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