Shrine of the House of the Blessed Abouna Yaacoub in Ghazir
The parental home of Abouna Yaacoub is located in a heritage neighborhood amid the historical town of Ghazir.
The Sisters of the Cross Congregation renovated the house, maintaining its ancient Lebanese character. It is a stone house of two floors, which the visitor can reach on foot, in a road guarded by arches, bushes and flower pots, overwhelmed by tranquility and vibrant memories. To the left of the entrance of the house, an arch is transformed into a night shrine where believers pray in front of the photo of the Blessed Abouna Yaacoub on a candle light, with the perfume and fragrance of the flower bouquets that they carry with them in honor, as the guests in Lebanon usually do. The door of the house is to the right side of the external lobby.
Here is the story of a family that lived in Christian piety and fear of God: the story of a father and mother who raised their children to the upright faith.
It is built on the weariness of a righteous believing father and tells the story of a mother named Shams, whose photo is hung on the right side of the door; in her handkerchief, forehead, eyes and facial features, you find modesty, piety, goodness, faith and fatigue. It is no wonder that such a lady is a mother of a saint. Yes, it is the righteous “Shams” who gathered her family around her to pray the rosary. It is “Shams” the mother who always said to her children, especially Khalil: “Amidst difficulties, pray using your mother’s rosary…”
The house consists of three rooms and a kitchen on the upper floor, and two rooms for rest in the basement. The kitchen, where Shams prepared food for the family, is today a church dwelled by the Lord who sustains souls.
As for the sitting room, with a balcony overlooking the sea, it is still the same, waiting for the visitors of Abouna Yaacoub to welcome them in his parental home. The same goes for the children’s bedroom, which southern window decorated with a bouquet of flowers, still overlooks the convent of Saint Antonios Khachbao.
From this window, Khalil heard the first whispers of the Lord’s call to him, invoking him to devote himself to the monastic life. Heavenly whispers accompanied the hymns of Capuchin monks who lived in the Khachbao convent at the time. These monks influenced Khalil by their prayers, which resonated in his bedroom, and by seeing them walking barefoot and hurting their feet due to the gravel of earthy roads. These monks have influenced Khalil’s personality since his youth, as Abouna Yaacoub did not become a Capuchin monk by chance; he is a Capuchin by the grace of God, because of the road paved by his mother and due to his personal commitment…
This is the place where Khalil grew up and lived until the age of nineteen. A humble place taking its beauty from its meek character, attracting the visitor with its silence and with the piety which inhabits it and glows in it.
Abouna Yaacoub’s parental home is a family school for visitors, and a reason for them to be influenced by a different way of education and good upbringing… Such a house which held a family and held along with it the face of Jesus and the heart of Mary, is bound to beget a saint.
The house of Abouna Yaacoub in Ghazir opens its doors wide to visitors daily from nine thirty in the morning until five thirty in the evening where they are welcomed by one of the Sisters of the Cross who guides their way and explains to them the spirituality of the shrine.
In the shrine, the rosary is recited at 11:45 am every morning. On Tuesday, it is recited at five thirty in the evening followed by the divine mass which also takes place at 6:00 every Friday evening, and then the Eucharist bread is put on the display.
Visitors come here to learn about the spirituality of the Blessed Abouna Yaacoub, who was born and raised in this house.
Abouna Yaacoub’s house is not only a shrine, but it is a place for gatherings, activities and awareness seminars, especially for fathers, mothers and youth.
It is worth noting that the register of the house which was inaugurated after June 26, 2008, is now full of testimonies of believers who received graces from their visit to Abouna Yaacoub in his parental home.