THE LEBANESE MARONITE ORDER IN QOZHAYA
- The Lebanese Maronite Order was founded by three young men from Aleppo. They were Gabriel Hawwa, Abdallah Qaraaly and Youssef El-Betn. They were later joined by Germanos Farhat.
- In 1694, they requested permission from the Patriarch Etienne Ed-Doweihy to found the Lebanese Maronite Order. He accepted their appeal and approved of their statutes on June 18th, 1700.
- Bishop Youhanna Habkouk bequeathed the Monastery of Saint Anthony of Qozhaya to Father Abdallah Qaraaly, Superior General of the Lebanese Maronite Order on July 5th, 1708.
- The Monastery became the residence of the Superior General in keeping with its historical, ecclesiastical and social standing. The Superior of this Monastery, to this day, maintains precedence over priests during religious ceremonies.
- In the Monastery of Saint Anthony of Qozhaya, the monks grew in number and, from there, spread throughout Lebanon. The Lebanese Maronite Order was often known as "The Order of Qozhaya Monks".
- The Blessed Neemtallah El-Hardini, "The Saint of Kfifan", resided there from 1828 to 1830.
- At a certain time the number of monks living in the Monstery attained more then two hundred monks. The monasteries of Achache, Jdeideh, Bsarma and Chekka are off shoots of this community.
- The properties of the Monastery increased due to the hard work of the monks and farmers. Renowned for its endowments and its generosity, the Monastery became a shelter for strangers, pilgrims and the poor. Well-wishers still say, "May God keep Qozhaya prosperous".
- During the First World War, the monks of the Monastery incurred a debt of more than twelve thousand gold pounds. They even sold some of the Monastery's land in order to aid the needy who continuously came to them.