The History of the Basilian Salvatorian Order
THE MIRACLE WHICH INSPIRED THE FOUNDATION OF THE MONASTERY OF SAINT SAVIOR BY BISHOP EFTIMIOS SAIFI
While Bishop Eftimios Saifi was visiting his Diocese, looking for members of his flock and fulfilling his duty as shepherd, he arrived in Joun, Lebanon. Many people came from the surrounding villages equipped with fire arms as was their custom because of the fear and lack of peace in the region. Bishop Saifi was accompanied by one of the deacons, Athanasius Nasr, from Gharifee. Deacon Athanasius took a fire arm from one of the men and examined it closely because it was the first fire arm introduced into this region of the Middle East with a trigger instead of a wick. The fire arm had come from France. His hand inadvertently touched the trigger and fired the gun. The bullet hit one of Bishop Eftimios’ priests in the chest; this priest was known for his great virtue, especially acts of charity and mercy. The priest fell to the ground. Bishop Saifi cried out loudly and with great fervor as was his habit: “O Savior of the World!” After the bishop had so exclaimed, the priest replied, “Do not be afraid, my master, I am alive.” What a marvel ! The priest was not harmed at all. He stood up immediately, and those present came and opened his clothes, and they found all the lead around his navel and on his flesh without any wound.
At that moment Bishop Saifi vowed to erect a monastery in the Savior’s Name, both in memory of the miracle and as a shelter for his religious. Bishop Eftimios asked those present from the village for a suitable place to fulfill his vow and good resolution. They offered their advise in showing him a ruined farm in the forest, ‘Farm of Mashmooshee’ in the outskirts of Joun in the district of Saida in the Maanee Shouf. The property was in the district of Mount Lebanon pertaining to Emir Haidar Shahab. Immediately Bishop Saifi, with some of the inhabitants of Joun, and also with the religious that had accompanied him went to the ‘Farm of Mashmooshee’ to see the property and visit the farmers there, who he was told were Melkites.
This event occurred in the beginning of the 18th century. The Basilian Salvatorian Order was founded circa 1683
This translation is from The History of the Greek Melkites and the Salvatorian Order by Constantine Basha, b.s.o. by Father Peter Hajjar, b.s.o.
Congratulations Deacon Marwan!
Deacon Marwan is seen here with Bishop Nicholas who ordained him, with his ‘sponsor’, Deacon Ziad Layous and with Father Fares Alkhlaifat who served as Master of Ceremonies and also prepared Deacon Marwan for the diaconate.