A Hard Worker

From Estephan The Monk.

Brother Estephan was an exemplary monk in observing and abiding by monastic rules, always doing what the Superior has asked him to do, preserving his monastic vows, moving from a job to another or from a monastery to another as instructed by his superiors, without being attached to anything. The superior cautioned him at table once, so he knelt down immediately in front of everybody: the general authority, the superiors, the monks and the novices asking for forgiveness. He was a true image of a maronite monastic saying, that a monk’s weapons are his chaplet and his knees, meaning prayer and humbleness.

Brother Estephan (the 2nd from the right, fist row) with other monks.
Photo Taken on August 16, 1929

He was pure like an angel, decent in his way of dressing and speaking, never mentioned any bad word. He liked the laborers and used to ask them to refrain from saying bad words.

Taking the example of the Christ who didn’t have a place to lay his head, brother Estephan was of a great integrity, preserving the holy vow of poverty, working as a poor little worker for God and for the Order. He never carried any money and didn’t possess any of it. When he sold anything from the field he used to give the money to the Superior. His clothing was poor and didn’t have a shirt, his superior dressed him with his own shirt upon his death. His robe was clean and he washed his clothes by himself with his hands, he never lost his time but was always praying or working in the field or in the carpentry.

He seldom left the monastery, and his visits to his parents in Lehfed were rare. If he had to go to Lehfed, he used to go on a quick visit and come back in the evening to the monastery, and resume work on the second day. On one occasion he was returning from his hometown and there was heavy rains, some of his parents intercepted him, Tannous Elias Nehme among them, and urged him to stay in the village, but he went on with his trip back to the monastery in spite of the heavy rain because he was not used to sleep outside his monastery.

His nephew witnessed once that Estephan made some carpentry works for a new room in his brother's house newly built, when he finished his work he said to his brother: the cost of the wood is two liras that you have to pay, but as for my pay I asked the Superior to waive it for you. Then someone who was present asked: why won’t you keep the two liras for your brother’s house as well? He answered that he didn’t want to have money from the wakf in their home.

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