Monks of the Brothers of the Cross - Nuns of the Sisters of Jesus Crucified Mary and Jesus Cross Lebanon Christian



1- Bishop George Abi Saber

“ Had it not been for that quality of poverty, absolute benevolence in your services and relying on Providence, your foundation would not have any justification, nor would we allow you to exist as a new monastic community… and we would send you to existent orders; Your example is of great influence on society and youth all the more in these times which are in urgent need of your spirituality, so that the world may achieve awareness of the priority of spiritual life and may prefer it to temporal things. Your message is “simple” and needs no knowledge, nor theology. You urge people to exercise mysteries, to stay away from evil and to live virtues…I emphasize again telling you not to renounce your poverty, and to take care, more specifically, of the poor of the world, because you are their comfort. Your example is the most significant apostolate and homily for souls and more influential than words…. Instituting a religious order is much easier that renewing another one.”

2-Bishop Chucrallah Harb

Their multiple characteristics urged me to adopt the Brothers of the Cross and Sisters of Jesus Crucified, such as complete poverty, detachment from money, absolute reliance on Providence, being unassociated to social institutions, entrusting their financial and temporal matters to the secular association they founded. They were noted for their utter obedience to us and to those whom we empowered to guide them… Numbers of priests called upon them to exercise apostolate …and numbers of young people and families, of many confessions, who came under their influence, constantly paid them visits to get good advice.

3- Bishop Harb and Abbot Athanasius El Jalkh

Regarding the request which they referred to the Synod of Bishops for approving the Order:

“ We do confirm the obedience of the community of the Brothers of the Cross and the Sisters of Jesus crucified, its submission, and sound faith and creed…pointing out that what seemed to you difficult and unusual at first sight in its radical life – about which we expressed our reserve from the outset – shall be clear to you as it became clear to us….and we perceived God ‘s Providence accompanying that community and people’s love and admiration for its complete poverty, in such a way that they gave lavish donations to it. Thus, they handed the excess of their daily surplus over to the poor… this is why we urge you to make sure about the community’s twofold life, based on a genuine monastic life, and on an extensive and serious training far from any noisy environment and from mixing with secular people.”

2- Testimonies of those who accompanied both Orders

1- The General Advisor of the two Orders, Abbot Athanasius El Jalkh (1997 – 1999)

“The commitment of the Brothers of the Cross and of the Sisters of Jesus Crucified to poverty is a thorough commitment, as Jesus and his apostles once lived, following Saint Francis of Assisi’s pattern of life, completely relying on Providence, without worrying about the future and about means of subsistence, keeping away from all patterns of welfare of daily life …. It is a praying community, having the sole purpose of looking for God. This is why they do not wish to be responsible for institutions or administrations that may distract them from the strict necessary. Their message, as far as it is concerned, is a message of prayer, testimony, and simple free service. They introduce thereby the Gospel word to families and individuals… a hard life, not an easy one, that produces and tests the real vocation. This is their achievement.”

2- Father Joseph Fahd, prior of Saint Savior monastery for the Trappists, in his report to the Synod of Bishops (10th of May 2001)

“The community of the Brothers of the Cross bears the seeds of monastic obedience, flexibility, committed will and good evangelical intentions, in such a way that these virtues became clearer and encouraging in all aspects of monastic life, such as common life and brotherly love … The main aspect of the Brothers of the Cross is a monastic and contemplative aspect that keeps clear, and they wish to add an apostolic complementary aspect…. they show an eager enthusiasm for keeping the Christian truth and creed as well as Church teachings. They are industrious men toiling outside and inside the monastery ….Their spirituality assumes a mystic and ascetic aspect similar to old monastic life witnessed once by the Church. The spiritual pattern lived by the brothers is absolutely unlike that of any of the monastic communities existing on the Lebanese territory. This is why it would be impossible to join them to one of these orders.

3- Father Souheil Kacha(1)

“The Brothers of the Cross and the Sisters of Jesus Crucified are orders having spirituality similar to the first Church orders. They rely on Providence in their ascetic, mystical, and contemplative life, with a spirit of faith and simplicity that is crowned by the three vows which they fulfill perfectly. Christ is their hope and they imitate him to spread the spirit of an exemplary Christian life in society. They focus on serving man by any means wherever he may be. Times do not hamper their mission, nor obstacles stand in their way. God bless them in their message! May He add to their grace and help them realize their purposes in the service of Jesus and the Church”

4- Sister Esther Eid, General Advisor of the Sisters (2005)

“The Sisters of Jesus Crucified strive to return to the vigor of the early monastic life. They only wish to staunch their thirst from the source of our clear eastern patrimony. I wish them to follow the Lord Jesus every day in the footsteps of the ascetics, saints, and missionaries footsteps joyfully, avoiding reckless behavior, and in everything and they will go on weaving their life with thoughts, words and works of Jesus Christ, source of love and holiness.”

5- Father Hanna Khadra, General Advisor of both Orders (since 2003)

“After a long and uncertain journey, they were guided by Providence to Jbeil Maronite diocese, the pastor of which, Bishop Bechara El Raai, took them under his protection. I was glad to know that I was named, by decree, their legal expert and spiritual guide. I answered the invitation with great joy.

“We laid down a Rule and found a piece of land on which to build their central monastery. We obtained a permit to excavate the foundations of the building, pursued a long series of spiritual talks and collaborated in the service of the apostolate and spiritual exercises in some villages and parishes.

“Their human life and spiritual individuality can be summarized thus: joy resulting from constant bliss that radiates from their faces. Humility that impressed me so much, especially as they bow kneeling down before the priest to kiss his hand and asking for his blessing. Helpfulness, as they rush to help needy people knocking on their door or who they meet on the roadside. Hospitality, as there is no need for affectation in dealing with them. We call upon the good benefactors who love this community to contribute the widow’s mite on their behalf so they can build their accommodation that shall be the first keystone of their historical monastic building.”

Maranatha Association from Mary‘s Immaculate Heart

With their burning zeal that the Holy Spirit instilled in their heart to take part in the church’s work in the service of souls and salvation, Brother Roufail founded Maranatha from Mary’s Immaculate Heart to contribute in achieving the true evangelical testimony, so that it may be in the service of Christians and clergy in general

Their members constitute Christ‘s Mystical Body. They are an example of obedience, respect for popes, bishops and priests, and execution of all their decisions and recommendations. They operate to bring back the spiritual richness lost in our era and to spread decency in all circles and endeavor to bring to light the buried treasures of the writings of the Holy Fathers of the Church, to spread the honoring of God’s mother and to cooperate in rejecting any evil coming from people who deviated from ethical and moral behavior such as artists, fashion designers, civil leaders, and producing companies… But there are talented professionals in these fields pursuing, at the hand of the Brothers of the Cross and the Sisters of Jesus Crucified a Christian and theological education under the competent bishop’s control. Also they accompany them in their message and help them at spiritual exercises centers, and educate children.

Ictus Association from Mary’s Immaculate Heart is the association that accepts all donations to put them to deserving people’s service, like the twelve apostles when they chose the seven deacons to take care of the needy people and widows so they could devote themselves fully to the message of prayer and the word (Acts of the Apostles 6/1)

So that the Orders of the Brothers of the Cross and of Sisters of Jesus Crucified can devote themselves to the message of prayer and the word, Brother Roufail founded these charity association adherent to both Orders, to operate under their control and care about the temporal and material affairs of poor under the slogan “Absolute benevolence, relying on Providence and looking for the needy person rather than waiting for him”.

So as to fulfill the association‘s purposes, both orders are trying to obtain a plot of land in any diocese to found a building intended for the community’s services, that provides a shelter for wanderers, takes care of burying abandoned dead people, affords a rest place for sick poor people once they are through with necessary hospital treatment, teaches some handicraft and basic languages, affords an office to welcome benefactors and poor people; and constituted of a garden with a place intended for greeting souls thirsty for getting good guidance and spiritual and psychological rest, of a library for reading and borrowing spiritual and cultural books, of an employment office for people and handicapped people, of a nursery for children and old people, of a dispensary for medical analysis and examinations, of a department for distributing family needs, of a motion picture theater to project constructive religious and cultural motion pictures, and of premises to teach genuine art.
Items that ICTUS association needs to fulfill its services for needy people and cultivators as well as forsaken sick people and suchlike: –

a- Machines and equipments to be available so as to fit out the above-mentioned center.
b- A power generator for the community center, which is required to facilitate its services in accordance with the rules specified by the Brothers of the Cross and their founder Brother Roufail.
c- Station car.
d- Pick-up for items needing transportation.
e- Bus for children, old people and handicapped persons.
f- Mechanical shovel to dig agricultural roads and to make work easier and help farmers.
g- Water drill to dig wells in abandoned villages.
h- Machine to plough waste lands and encourage inhabitants of abandoned villages to return to their lands and cultivate them. For more information click Support and Donation

1- He is an Iraqi priest of the Syrian Catholic church with a member of religious and secular works to his name.
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