Al Hardini The Spear

From Al Hardini the monk and the priest

The first conflict inside the Maronite Order began in 1832 when father Aghnatios Bleibel was imposed by the political authorities for the position of Superior General of the Order. He founded a party to back him up for the position as well, to satisfy his personal goals, justifying his wrongdoings by the need to preserve the political interactions in the region. Once he became Superior, he began disposing of the Maronite Order’s funds and general interests for his own purposes and for his followers, he started spending the Order’s money on the people of his region and on his supporters in other regions, to earn their sympathy and to ensure being re-elected.

This conflict has created divisions and uprisings inside the Maronite Order, which has worried a lot the higher religious positions, and which has resulted in spiritual, cultural and material damages in the Order. Al Hardini in the meantime was patient, surrendering it all to the will of God, putting his faith in the Divine Mercy, consuming his body with fasting and penance in atonement for the sins, insults and blasphemes that have been incurred by the Holy Eucharist, and the severe disturbance to his beloved Order.

A statue of Saint Nehmatallah Al Hardini at the monastery of Kfifane

But the grace of God upon the Maronite Order did not deprive any Maronite convent from tens of righteous monks like father Al Hardini. They were the spear which defended the Order, and God with his Mercy spared the Maronite Order because he found in it more than ten righteous people. Al Hardini was melted by pain, penance and non-stop hard work and prayer, he spent his lifetime in a continuous martyrdom, sanctifying himself by the strict obedience to the monastic rules when so many were breaking them. He had a memorable saying:”The wise man saves himself”.

Father Saba Al Akouri convened his friend and superior of the monastery of Kozhaya, Al Hardini, in an attempt to alleviate the pain of his monks after the big quake which has caused the resignation of father Nehmetallah Awwad Al Hasrouni, the superior of the monastery, and also to safeguard the convent against any eventual hostility from Emir Amin’s side, the son of Emir Beshir The great and patriarch Youssef Hobeich.

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