Memories of the War

Father Estephan Farhat Al Jaji testified about Blessed Estephan saying: "I met again with brother Estephan at the monastery of Saint Antonios Houb, upon the end of the First World War. Students were coming back to resume their studies at the school of our Lady of Succor (Al Maonat), and in summer time they used to join the different monasteries in the mountains for the same purpose. I was appointed by lot to the monastery of Houb at the time of the mandate of the Superior father Nehmetallah Al Lehfedy, and brother Estephan was a chief of field at that time".

Monastery of Saint Antonios Houb, between the mountains

"It was natural for me to become more attached to brother Estephan especially after our old days together at the monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouq. I did not leave any available opportunity to find him and sit with him, especially in the barn which was far away from the monastery. We often spoke about the war and the dramatic implications it had on Lebanon and on the Lebanese people who died in big numbers from starvation, we remembered father Antonios Nehme the Superior of the monastery of Mayfouq, his pain and hard work and dangerous trips to Akkar, Homs, Hamah, trying desperately to find food and bring it with him for the monks and the workers and all the poor families that were living around the monastery."

"At those difficult times the doors of the monastery remained open for all, and the different photos at the reception of the monastery of Mayfouq which were taken at the courtyard of the monastery, are a witness of the big number of people who were depending on the monastery for their food. Brother Estephan and the other monks used to distribute food generously and lovingly on hungry and poor people."

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