In the region of Mount Lebanon of Jbeil, on a hill, which is regarded as one of the nicest hills in Lebanon, is a Monastery belonging to the Lebanese Maronite Order, known as St Maron Monastery - Annaya. It lies in Annaya to the west of Ehmej and the south of Meshmesh. It lies seventeen kilometers from Jbeil, and is 1200 meters of altitude.
Annaya in a Syriac dialect means ďa hymn singerĒ or ďa group of worshippers or hermitsĒ. In the past, it was one of the farms of Jbeil. Its name was transformed to a monastery after the monks had bought land in that area where they constructed a monastery.
The construction of the first part of the monastery was completed in 1828, which was the year of St Charbelís birth. Wasn't God preparing for what was going to happen in that blessed land? Between 1838 and 1841, the church was completed and so were all the cellars.
After St Charbel had been declared Blessed in 1965, the Order started to build a new church creating facilities to receive the multitudes of believers flowing to Annaya.
In 1974, the inauguration of the new church, on the western side of the monastery which was constructed in the name of St Charbel, took place. Still to this day, the Order continuously repairs and prepares facilities for the sake of the visitorsí services and the meeting of the spiritual needs. We will be talking further about all the parts of the Monastery.
Following the way of St Charbel who combined heaven and earth, the St Maron monastery performs a distinguished agricultural activity and a variety of production such as wines, jams and dairy products.
Not only do the monks accomplish their spiritual duties inside the monastery, but they also distribute their variety of the activities and care in the vicinity, where they serve the parishes and provide them with all the necessary care.
Today, thanks to St Charbel, St Maronís monastery in Annaya has become a great national and international shrine where thousands of believers come to pray and repent, and to provide for their various spiritual needs. It is also a place where letters from all over the world are received to get the Lebanese Saintís tangible grace or to seek his intercession.