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History of the hermitage

Copyright ImageIn 1798, a hundred years prior to St Charbel’s death, Yussef Bou Ramya and Daoud Issa Khalife from Ehmej built a monastery on the Annaya Rouasy hill. Youssef and Daoud finished constructing the monastery in 1811. They called the place of worship, which was built on old ruins, “The Lord's Transfiguration”. Their purpose was to refrain themselves to the hermit’s life due to being fed up with the world.
On August 9th, 1812, the Maronite patriarch Youhanna El Helou changed the place of worships name from “Transfiguration” to the two apostles, Peter & Paul whose feast is on June 29th. Since then, the monastery has been known as “St Peter & Paul church” instead of the Monastery of Revelation.

During that period, there was a need for a priest to take care of the spiritual service. Copyright ImageTherefore, Youssef and Daoud asked the order’s general superior, Father Egnatious Bleibel, on November 20th, 1814, for a priest to serve this mission. They gave him full authorisation in the house of worship and its land. And that was in accordance with a decree directed by patriarch Youhanna El Helou to the General Superior. 

Starting from 1814, those worshippers abandoned the site of St Peter & Paul as well as surrounding property and followed the Lebanese Maronite Monastic Order. Brother Youssef remained in St Maroun Church, Annaya till he passed away after a righteous old age.

However, the “St Peter & Paul Monastery” later became a hermitage in around 1828, the year in which the first construction was completed in St Maroun Church, Annaya, and which was the birth year of St Charbel. And the first hermit from the Order to enter this hermitage was Father Elisha El Hardini, The Blessed Nimutallah El Hardini’s brother.