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Panoramic Views > Mount Lebanon > Jbeil-Byblos > Abaydat


Abaydat and Religious Silence

Here the presence of the Holy Spirit is ever felt, here where nobody comes for simple amusement or for mere sight-seeing. Here one comes to pray, to meditate, to be in touch with one’s Creator. This is a village like no other, for rather is it a cathedral, an alter raised to the glory of the Lord, with its houses scattered among the trees of the forest, the cliffs and the valleys.

The steep precipices and the caves, the clefts in the rocks, the bold reliefs and the strange forms, all these would seem to have been shaped by the hands of the Creator. The region is sublime and one can no more talk of beauty or of picturesque landscapes, for one is truly overwhelmed by the grandeur, the immensity of this unrivalled, soaring, rock-hewn presence, a presence that is alive and animated by the depths and by the paths which wind their way among the oak trees and other lords of the forest. The sylvan shadows extend their embrace and the views all draw one’s eyes towards Paradise. Here is a village that takes to its heart both the faithful seeking prayer and the travelers seeking the miracles of nature. They find themselves in a valley rich in its churches and sanctuaries, those of Mar Semaan, Mar Mema, Saint Osapios, Mar Adnah, Our Lady, and John the Baptist, nestling in its hollows, not to mention the various Roman remains.

Mere story or not, it is said that a certain cave to be reached only by a ladder is accessible only to those who have faith and whose souls are pure.

I am speaking of Abaydat, a village ensconced in the heights two thousand feet and more above sea level in the north-east of the region of Jbeil, ten minutes’ drive from Amsheet and easily reached by the Byblos-to-Lehfed road. The name is of Aramaic origin and indicates commerce, or undertaking, or work. The local people lead an organized life, some wintering in Byblos or along the coast where they are employed, while others spend both summer and winter in their village homes.

The village has a school, shops, some scattered workshops for skilled industry, and a modern mill, and a municipal authority meets local requirements. There are many olive trees, vineyards, orchards, clumps of woodland, and vegetable gardens close to the houses. Abaydat has conserved its traditional aspect and should be visited by all who love recollection and meditation and an atmosphere of piety.

Joseph Matar
Translation from the French : Kenneth J. Mortimer


- Abaydat: >> View Movie << (2014-04-01)

 

 


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