Bkerké

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Bkerke, Maronite Patriarchate

Bkerké (Arabic: بكركي, also Bkerke or Bkirki) is the episcopal see of the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch of the Maronite Church in Lebanon, located 650 m above the bay of Jounieh, northeast of Beirut, in Lebanon.

Though now exclusively used by the church, the area was owned by the noble Khazen family. The clergy use it under a special waqf.[1][2]

History[edit]

The see of the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate was never in Antioch, since created in around 858 AD it was in Kfarhay in Batroun mountains then it kept on moving in varied locations in Byblos mountains for 500 years such as Yanouh, Mayfouq, Lehfed, Habeel, Kfifan, al-Kafr, and Hardeen in the Byblos region. It then moved to Qannoubine in the Kadisha Valley because of intensified persecution and remained there from 1440 to 1823 when it moved to Dimane and lastly, in 1830, to Bkerké.[3] Today, Maronite Patriarchs use Dimane as a summer residence and Bkerké as a winter one.

The earlier building on Bkerké site was a monastery settled in 1703. In 1830 it became the winter residence of the Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch. The present red roofed structure was built in 1893[4] during the time of Patriarch John Peter El Hajj.

An old book references a convent, called Kourket, that was likely in this same area, if not on the same site. According to these (likely sensationalized) stories, the convent, founded around 1755, had high death rates, blamed on the air of the region. In 1775, a traveler, who spent the night outside the convent walls, observes a body being secretively buried and tells the local ruler. He sends a contingent of horsemen to gain access to the convent, where they discover "abominations which make the hair stand on end". The founder of the convent, Hendia, had "destroyed her nuns, sometimes to get their property into her hands, at other times, because they showed themselves refractory to her orders...". After this discovery, she was jailed and escaped from multiple convents [5].

References[edit]

  1. ^ An Interview with Cheikh Malek el-Khazen. CatholicAnalysis.org. Published: 28 July 2014.
  2. ^ Bkerke El Khazen waqf. Khazen.org. Retrieved: 29 November 2014.
  3. ^ The Maronite Patriarchate
  4. ^ "Bkirke". ikamalebanon. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  5. ^ https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015033911994;view=1up;seq=46;size=175

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°58′05″N 35°38′01″E / 33.9680556°N 35.6336111°E / 33.9680556; 35.6336111