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Intervention of Archmandrite Jean FARAJ, Superior General of the Basilian Order of the Most Holy Saviour of the Melkites (USG)



I am happy to tell you about our small experience in the Basilian Order of the Holy Savior, whose mother house, 300 years old, is located at Chouf in a region known for its confessional plurality (Druze, Muslim and Christian). Here, in a few words, are the principles that inspired our action:
- To love: Love for others, while different, opened many closed doors for us, and has guaranteed our continuity for 300 years.
- To forgive: 6 times in our history, we were pillaged, sacked, bombed and displaced from our convents, parishes and our region. More than 25 priests and religious persons were cruelly martyred. To forgive, also, seems to be the only way for us to continue and last.

To believe: We are the Ambassadors of Christ where we were sown. Our faith in our Lord teaches us to live, not for ourselves, but for others. Our mission is to accept others, as they are, and above all accept the Cross which is the sign of our salvation.
To witness: The style of life is more eloquent than speeches. The peoples, of all nationalities and religions, feel attracted by the Saints. They come to pray and to ask for our help. Our convent, just like yours, is a place that attracts people who are looking for peace and Divine intercession. Therefore, the example is the guarantee of the success and of continuity.
- To teach: Our main duty is to teach the new generation openness, love, acceptance of others, and even more so, to go all the way to see the image of God in each human being, and to teach youths in discovering this image in themselves and in others. I could even say that we were created by some of our other brother and sisters religions: they taught us faithfulness, generosity, devotion and respect...
I would like to conclude by saying that, if the Church of the Near East lives very difficult, even dramatic situations, she is privileged in living the mystery of the Cross, thus participating in Christ’s suffering, which will lead her to resurrection.

[00144-02.02] [IN103] [Original text: French]




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