Between Hardine And Tannourine

Youssef Kassab was born in the village of Hardine in 1808, and on his eighth day he was baptized. His parents were christian maronites and were known of being from wealthy families, and they enjoyed a good reputation. They were well doers and pious, so he was fed with good virtues along with the milk and he was raised as a good christian. His brothers are: Assaf, Yaacoub, Father Antonios, the monk Father Alishaa and his sisters: Masihiya the nun in Hrash monastery, Marina the spouse of Sadek Kassab.

His Parents sent him to the school of the Lebanese Maronite Order at the monastery of Saint Antonios Houb, close to the village of Tannourine. He used to spend the night at his grandfather's house the Priest Youssef Yaacoub, and went to school during the day. He used to take with him three pieces of bread, he would eat only two of them and bring the third back home. The main topics he learned at school were catechism, the preparation to receive the Sacraments, syriac and arabic languages, arithmetics, calligraphy, service of the liturgy, psalms, service of the funerals, and regular liturgical songs.

Monastery of Saint Antonios Houb

He went back from school to his home village Hardine to help his parents in the field. He used to take the cows to graze with Yaacoub Jreij's widow: Sattout. He would often pretend to be tired and asked her to look for his cows as he would need to go for a rest. As he used to go for a long time, she noticed one day that he entered a cave, knelt down and prayed for long hours.

So all his early years were full of acts of praising for God, peacefulness and love for his family and friends, and the persistence on the acts of righteousness. He persisted to the holy mass and the different prayers and liturgies of the maronite church.

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