And life prevails!

During World War One, the lot of the Lebanese people was made of destructions, massacres, hunger, and exodus. Ottoman soldiers did not spare anyone from their barbarism, nor monks neither monasteries. All monasteries of the Antonine Maronite Order located in the region of Metn were profaned, burnt, or destroyed, or else transformed into military barracks and the monks living therein were either thrown away or killed.

It was only after the great war that the Antonine Order was able to recover its monasteries especially thanks to the effort of the Superior General Youssef Aramouni. However, and until 1931, the novitiate was put on hold.

War ended and the officials in the Order immediately deployed their efforts to gather the Antonine family and continue their common fraternal life. First, the novitiate was permanently established in Mar Chaaya starting 1938, after being transferred from Mar Chaaya to Mar Youhanna in Ajaltoun or Mar Roukoz in Dekwaneh.

In 1941, the establishment of the Small Seminary or Postulate at the monastery of Mar Chaaya is considered a new beginning for the monastic life; young people who want to enter the Order were taken in charge since small classes and till the age of fifteen and were prepared for the novitiate where they get acquainted to the monastic life before they take their vows.

In 1949, the Superior General of the Order, who was then Abbot Boutros Lteif, decided to transfer the premises of the Small Seminar from the monastery of Mar Chaaya to the Monastery of Mar Antonios in Baabda. There, the postulants and young monks continued their studies according to the State’s curriculum and applied to the official exams aiming at acquiring the diploma of ending their school education in order to be able to start their ecclesiastic studies.

And since 1958, and upon the privilege granted by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and thanks to the support of Cardinal Akassios Kousa and the efforts of the Superior General of the Order Abbot Maroun Harika, the Antonine monks continue their majoring in philosophy and theology in Rome at the University of St Anselm of the Benedictine monks and at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas – Angelicum of the Dominican Fathers.

Later on, and with the support of Cardinal Albert Decourtray, the Catholic University of Lyon-France welcomed the Antonine monks who were known for their spirituality and their apostolic merits.

  The Tau