رابطة قدامى الإكليريكية البطريركية المارونية

Pope Francis on Lesbos: Stop this shipwreck of civilization


The Pope on Sunday visited the Reception and Identification Centre of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. While there, he heard the testimonies of migrants, and told those present migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Five years ago, Pope Francis came to the island of Lesbos to see for himself the plight of migrants here. On Sunday, as part of his Apostolic Visit to Greece, he was greeted by thousands of migrants at the Mytilene camp on this island, telling them “I am here to see your faces and look into your eyes.”

Pope Francis visiting the Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece
Pope Francis visiting the Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece

Quoting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, he said, “those who are afraid of you have not looked you in the eye…  They have forgotten that migration is not an issue for the Middle East and Northern Africa, for Europe and Greece.  It is an issue for the world.”

Pope Francis underlined that migration is a “humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone.” He noted that while strides are being made to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, “all this seems to be terribly absent when it comes to migration.” 

Pope Francis visiting the Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece
Pope Francis visiting the Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece

Lessons from history

“It is an illusion to think it is enough to keep ourselves safe, to defend ourselves from those in greater need who knock at our door”, Pope Francis said.  “In the future, we will have more and more contact with others.  To turn it to the good, what is needed are not unilateral actions but wide-ranging policies.”  History, he added,  “teaches this lesson, yet we have not learned it.” 

Pope Francis visiting the Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece
Pope Francis visiting the Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece

During his address, the Pope asked every man and woman, “to overcome the paralysis of fear, the indifference that kills, the cynical disregard that nonchalantly condemns to death those on the fringes.” 

Little change

Pope Francis highlighted that since his visit five years ago, little has changed with regard to the issue of migration. However, he praised those who have committed themselves to the work of welcoming and integrating migrants. 

Pope Francis and Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou visiting the Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece
Pope Francis and Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou visiting the Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece

It is with deep regret, he continued,  “we must admit that this country, like others, continues to be hard-pressed, and that in Europe there are those who persist in treating the problem as a matter that does not concern them.” 

His Beatitude Hieronymos II and Pope Francis at the Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece
His Beatitude Hieronymos II and Pope Francis at the Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece

“It is distressing to hear of proposals that common funds be used to build walls as a solution,” he said. 

“Yet problems are not resolved and coexistence improved by building walls higher, but by joining forces to care for others.”

Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece
Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece

Tackling problems

“Rather than bickering over ideas,” said the Pope,  it would be better to broaden our gaze to take in the problems of the majority of humanity, of all those peoples who are victims of humanitarian emergencies they did not create, yet have to endure as the latest chapter in a long history of exploitation.”

 “It is easy to stir up public opinion by instilling fear of others,” noted Pope Francis,  yet why do we fail to speak with equal vehemence about the exploitation of the poor, about seldom-mentioned but often well-financed wars… about covert deals to traffic in arms, favouring the proliferation of the arms trade? 

He stressed that the remote causes should be attacked, “not the poor people who pay the consequences and are even used for political propaganda.”

 “To remove the root causes”, he added “more is needed than merely patching up emergency situations.  Coordinated actions are needed.”

Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece
Mytilene refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece

Stop the shipwreck of civilization

“Let us not let our sea (mare nostrum) be transformed into a desolate sea of death (mare mortuum),” the Pope concluded.  “Let us not allow this place of encounter to become a theatre of conflict.  Let us not permit this “sea of memories” to be transformed into a “sea of forgetfulness”.  Please, let us stop this shipwreck of civilization

Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor

Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor

The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift


J-P Mauro - published on 09/24/21

The explosion was so great it may have also been responsible for leveling the walls of Jericho.

Ateam of archeologists believe they have uncovered evidence of the traumatic events that led to the destruction of Sodom. The findings, published in Nature Scientific Reportssuggest that the destruction was wrought by a space rock that hurtled through the atmosphere and exploded over the city, creating an airburst. 

The research was conducted at Tall el-Hammam, a site believed to be the biblical Sodom, over a 15-year period. Daily Caller reports that the team identified a five-foot layer of charcoal, ash, melted bricks and melted pottery. To melt building materials, the heat must have exceeded 2,000 degrees Celsius. As there were no means to artificially generate such tremendous temperature in that era, experts began to look for natural explanations. 


The heat was so intense that it was even able to shock quartz. Shocked quartz is a deformation of the planes inside of the quartz crystal caused by exposure to high pressure. In an interview with Newsweek, James Kennett, professor emeritus of earth science at UC Santa Barbara, said: 

“We have shocked quartz from this layer, and that means there were incredible pressures involved to shock the quartz crystals—quartz is one of the hardest minerals; it’s very hard to shock.”


Following the theory of a meteoric airburst, the team used an online impact calculator, which showed that the evidence fits that scenario. According to The Daily Beast, the airburst is being comparable to the one that occurred in Tunguska, Russia, in 1908. The Tunguska airburst leveled 80 million trees over a 830-square-mile area. The event would have also been similar to the impact that did away with the dinosaurs, but on a smaller scale.


The Conversation reports that the detonation would have occurred about 2.5 miles above the ground. Even at that distance, the blast would have created a 740 mph shock wave that would have leveled most of the buildings of Sodom. None of the residents would have survived the initial blast or the rock melting temperatures that followed. 


The theory also extends to Jericho, which stands just 14 miles from the site. It is now being argued that this same airburst may have leveled Jericho’s famed walls. 

Toxic salt

The report could also explain why over 100 other settlements in the region became deserted. The impact could have vaporized a portion of the Dead Sea, which would cast toxic levels of salt over the land. This salt, the concentration of which was found in some samples to be as high as 25%, would have devastated farm lands for generations. The Conversation goes on to note that this theory has yet to be proven. 


With little rainfall in the arid desert climate, it would take much longer to wash away the salt. Once agriculture was stymied, society would have ceased to function. It is estimated that the region would be unfit for human settlement for nearly 600 years. 

Read the official findings at Nature Scientific Reports


Ancient Christian graffiti found on ‘one of a kind’ 5th-century chalice


Rare lead vessel covered in religious iconography discovered in ruins of Roman fort church

Chiara Giordano
One of 14 fragments of a 5th-century chalice found etched with Christian iconography after it was unearthed at Vindolanda Roman fort near Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland.
One of 14 fragments of a 5th-century chalice found etched with Christian iconography after it was unearthed at Vindolanda Roman fort near Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland.(The Vindolanda Trust)

Archaeologists have unearthed a unique fifth-century chalice near Hadrian's Wall covered in Britain's earliest example of Christian graffiti on an object.

The lead vessel, the only known example of its kind from the period, was found in 14 fragments buried beneath the remains of a 5th or 6th century church during an archaeological dig at Vindolanda Roman fort in Northumberland.

Although in poor condition the pieces were found to be covered in well-known symbols from the early Christian church including ships, crosses and chi-rhos, fish, a whale, a happy bishop, angels, members of a congregation and letters in Latin, Greek and potentially Ogam.


This combination of etchings and the context of the discovery makes the artefact “one of a kind from this period of British, and indeed European, history”, according to Dr Andrew Birley, director of Vindolanda excavations.

He told The Independent: “So far, when we find etchings on stones in churches, or on mosaic floors, unless they are an integral part of the structure we have thought that they are ‘graffiti’ left by worshippers or the early Christian equivalent of Banksy – but this artefact changes the narrative quite a bit.

“The symbols are a Christian code of sorts, mechanisms by which Christians could identify with and tell the stories to each other. Remember this is long before anything like the bible would have been commonly available.”

The markings are thought to have been added to both the outside and the inside of the cup by the same hand or artist and although they are now difficult to see with the naked eye, the symbols have been carefully recorded with the aid of specialist photography.


Dr Birley said chi-rhos (one of the earliest forms of the Christogram) and crosses can be clearly seen, as can a smiling priestly figure, angels, a whale and a fish which are all thought to be references to biblical tales such as Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 and turning water into wine.

“The markings tell us a story about what was important to congregations almost 1,500 years ago and just after the fall of Roman Britain,” he added.

The church the chalice was found in had somehow collapsed, burying the artefact along with the building’s floor.

It is believed this would have helped protect both the chalice and the church from modern agriculture and theft.

What remains of the church suggests it was large enough to have held a congregation of 50 to 60 people.

Dr David Petts, from Durham University, who is leading the research into the chalice, said: “This is a really exciting find from a poorly understood period in the history of Britain.

“Its apparent connections with the early Christian church are incredibly important, and this curious vessel is unique in a British context.”

Vindolanda was first built by the Roman army before construction had even begun on the 73-mile-long Hadrian’s Wall to guard the wild north-west frontier of the Roman Empire.

It became an important construction and garrison base for the wall and was demolished and rebuilt at least nine times.

The archaeological team at Vindolanda have already unearthed artefacts such as ink tablets, boxing gloves, boots and shoes at the important site.

The chalice will be on show from Monday as part of a new exhibition at Vindolanda’s museum highlighting Christianity and the last periods of occupation on the site.


Eight years with Pope Francis: The joy of the Gospel for the whole world

Pope FrancisPope Francis  (Vatican Media)


On March 13, 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the Chair of St. Peter. He is the first Jesuit, the first Latin-American Pope, and the first with the name Francis. These eight years of his Pontificate have been marked by initiatives and reforms to engage all Christians in a new missionary impetus with the goal of bringing the love of Jesus to all humanity.

By Isabella Piro

Closeness, synodality and missionary impetus: these are the cornerstones of the Pontificate of Pope Francis, who was elected eight years ago to the Chair of St. Peter. The perspective of his Pontificate starts from below, from the attention paid to those existential and geographical “peripheries” that act as a counterpoint to his being and acting. Inviting all to recover “the original freshness of the Gospel,” he urges the faithful to take up a new fervor and dynamism so that the love of Jesus can truly reach everyone. The Church desired by Pope Francis is an “outgoing” Church, with “open doors,” a “field hospital” that is not afraid of the “revolution of tenderness” or “the miracle of kindness.”

Newness and Evangelii gaudium, guiding text of the Pontificate

As the first Pope with the name “Francis”, the first Jesuit and the first native of Latin America, but also the first Pontiff of modern times elected following the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Francis began his pontificate under the banner of newness, notably presiding at the daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta, where he decided – another new fact – to reside.

In those short homilies, delivered spontaneously in the style of a parish priest, the Pope establishes a direct dialogue with the faithful, urging them to an immediate confrontation with the Word of God. The year 2013 was also marked by the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii gaudium”, a true ‘guiding manifesto’ of the new Pontificate, in which Pope Francis calls for a new evangelization characterized by joy, as well as the reform of ecclesial structures and the conversion of the papacy, so that they may be more missionary and closer to the purpose intended by Jesus. For this reason, also in 2013, the Pope established a “Council of Cardinals” whose task is to review a project to revise the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor bonus” on the Roman Curia, dating back to 1988.

The Family

The family was the 2014 pastoral focus of Pope Francis, who dedicated an extraordinary synod to it. For the Pontiff, contemporary individualistic society severely attacks the family, putting at risk the rights of children and parents, particularly in the area of moral and religious education. This theme of the family finds its high point in the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia,” released on April 8, 2016, in which Pope Francis emphasizes the importance and beauty of the family based on the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman. The Pope also looks realistically at the fragilities experienced by some people, such as remarried divorcees, encouraging pastors to discern.

From the point of view of reform, the establishment in 2014 of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is significant. Its purpose is to propose initiatives to the Pontiff to “promote the responsibility of the particular Churches in the protection of all minors and vulnerable adults.” On the diplomatic front, Pope Francis’ 2014 was marked by two major initiatives: the first is the “Invocation for Peace“ in the Holy Land, held 8 June in the Vatican Gardens together with the president of Israel, Shimon Peres, and the president of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas. The second is the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. The Pontiff shows commitment to this objective in letters sent to the heads of state of the two countries.

Safeguarding Creation

The year 2015 was centered on the safeguarding of Creation. On May 24, Pope Francis signed the Encyclical “Laudato si’ on Care of our Common Home,” whose central point is integral ecology, in which concern for nature, fair treatment of the poor and commitment to society are inseparable. In this regard, the Pontiff instituted the ecumenical “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation,” to be celebrated every year on September 1. On the reform front, meanwhile, work continued on the new apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia, which will later have as its title, albeit provisional, “Preach the Gospel”.

In the meantime, the “Vatileaks 2” case, on the leakage of confidential documents of the Holy See, broke out. The Pope called it “a deplorable act” at the Angelus on 8 November, because “stealing documents is a crime.” After due process at the Vatican Tribunal, the case closed in July 2016, with two convictions and two acquittals.

The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy

Mercy, certainly, was the common thread of 2016: it was the Year in which the Extraordinary Jubilee announced by Pope Francis under the theme “Be merciful like the Father” took place. The concern for the least was made concrete with the “Fridays of Mercy,” during which the Pope made private visits to facilities dedicated to welcoming the poor, the sick and the marginalized. This was a “widespread” Jubilee that also saw the possibility of opening a Holy Door in every church in the world. Pope Francis himself, even before opening that of the Vatican Basilica, symbolically opened another: that of the Cathedral of Bangui, in the Central African Republic, where he visited during an apostolic journey in November 2015.

Moreover, in 2016, a momentous event took place: on February 12, in Cuba, the Pope met Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All of Russia. Together, they signed a joint declaration, in which they pledged to respond to the challenges of the contemporary world, including ending the persecution of Christians and wars; promoting interreligious dialogue; helping migrants and refugees; and protecting life and the family.

World Day of the Poor

The year 2017 was marked by a remarkable act as well, which is part of that diplomacy of peace promoted by Pope Francis. On 20 September, 2017, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the Holy See was among the first countries to sign and ratify the “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.” On the pastoral front, however, the year was marked by the celebration of the first “World Day of the Poor”, an occasion that aims to be - the Pope emphasizes - a reminder that it is precisely in the indigent that “the presence of Jesus is manifested”. Therefore, they open the way to heaven” and are our “passport to paradise”.

Agreement with China

There are two, however, highlights of Pope Francis’ 2018. On a pastoral level, the Synod on Youth represented a moment of ecclesial reflection. The Pope asked young people to “listen, make themselves close, bear witness,” because “faith is a matter of encounter, not theory.” This is an appeal that will become even stronger in the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Christus vivit,” signed in 2019. “You are God’s now,” Francis writes in the document, asking young people not to back down in the face of the challenges of the contemporary world and to devote attention to the least. On the diplomatic front, however, the Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China, signed in Beijing on 22 September concerning the appointment of bishops, stands out in 2018. Then, in 2020, this agreement will be renewed for two years.

The fight against abuse

2018 saw the opening of a very bitter page for the Catholic Church, namely that of the abuses committed by some members of the clergy: the cases relating to Cardinal George Pell who was tried in Australia and then acquitted after 13 months spent unjustly in prison, and the former Chilean priest Ferdinand Karadima, later removed from the clerical state by Pope Francis, as well as the publication of the “Pennsylvania Report“ in the United States, highlighting the importance of the fight against this crime carried out with determination by the Pope. In August, at the end of his Apostolic Journey to Ireland, Pope Francis made a touching “Penitential Act“ to ask for forgiveness on behalf of the Church. In the same period, the “McCarrick Case” related to the former Cardinal responsible for sexual abuse of minors who was later dismissed from the clerical state in 2019 came into the media limelight. It was an issue to which the Holy See will respond with a special “Report,” prepared by the Secretary of State under mandate from the Pope and released on November 10, 2020.

The fight against abuse continued during 2019 with the Vatican Summit on the Protection of Minors. From that meeting came the Motu proprio “Vos estis lux mundi,” which introduces an obligation for clerics and religious to report abuse, while each diocese is to have a system easily accessible to the public to receive reports. In December, the Pope also abolished pontifical secrecy in cases of sexual abuse through a Rescript.

Fraternity, peace and Christian unity

The year 2019 provided the backdrop for three major gestures: the first is the signing of the Document on “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” signed by the Pope and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahamad al-Tayyib in Abu Dhabi on February 4. It was a milestone in relations between Christianity and Islam, and the document encourages the strengthening of interreligious dialogue and promotes mutual respect, condemning terrorism and violence.

The second gesture was the organization of a spiritual retreat at the Vatican for civil and ecclesiastical leaders of South Sudan. The meeting took place in April and ended with a shocking act: Pope Francis knelt down and kissed the feet of the president of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the designated vice presidents in attendance. He did so to “implore that the fire of war be extinguished once and for all” in the young African country.

The third gesture, finally, was aimed towards Christian unity: on June 29, Pope Francis gave a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople some fragments of St. Peter’s relics. As the Pontiff himself writes in a Letter to Patriarch Bartholomew I, this gift “is meant to be a confirmation of the journey that our Churches have made in order to draw closer together.

Economic and financial reforms

As part of the reforms, in August 2019, the Pope renewed the Statute of the IOR (Insitute of Works for Religion) with a chirograph, introducing the position of external auditor to audit the accounts. This decision was followed, at the end of 2020, by the new Statute of the Financial Information Authority, which will henceforth be called the Supervisory and Financial Information Authority (ASIF), and by the Motu proprio “Regarding certain competencies in economic and financial matters,” by which the management of funds and properties of the Secretariat of State, including Peter’s pence, is transferred to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), while the supervisory role of the Secretariat for the Economy is strengthened.

Prayers during the pandemic 

In 2020, the year of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pope Francis remained close to the faithful with the constant force of prayer. The whole world remembers the “Statio Orbis“ presided over on March 27 by the Pope, alone, in front of a deserted and rain-soaked St. Peter’s Square. Distances were shortened by technology, which was necessary to contain the contagions. For some time, the General Audiences and the recitation of the Angelus were broadcast live on audio-video, as were the morning Masses at Casa Santa Marta.

In February, the fifth Apostolic Exhortation “Querida Amazonia“ was published. It gathers together the fruits of the special Synod for the Pan-American Region held in the Vatican in 2019. Later in October, the Pope’s third Encyclical, “Fratelli tutti” was published. This Encyclical, further clarifying the salient features of this Pontificate, calls for fraternity and social friendship and reiterates the rejection of war to build a better world, with the commitment of all.

Apostolic journeys with an eye towards the peripheries

The year 2020 closed with the announcement of the historic Apostolic Journey to Iraq, which ended in recent days. It was the first time of the Successor of Peter was visiting the country. After a 15-month hiatus due to the pandemic, Pope Francis continues to bring the light and beauty of the Gospel to the world, turning his gaze, once again, to the peripheries, where “fraternity and hope” are urgently needed.

Moreso, his first trip as Pontiff, on July 8, 2013, had Lampedusa as its destination. From that island - a place of desperate disembarking - the Pope put the global spotlight on the drama of migration, a major theme of his Pontificate. Pope Francis often reiterates how migrants are first and foremost all people, not just numbers or social issues, and he does so not only with words, but also with deeds. One can think of the decision he made in April 2016, upon returning from a visit to the Lesvos refugee camp: on the papal flight, Pope Francis welcomed 12 Syrian refugees and accompanied them to Rome so that they could be assisted.

Some statistical data 

So far, Pope Francis has made 25 trips within Italy and 33 outside the Peninsula. But the figures of his Pontificate speak of more than 340 General Audiences, more than 450 Angelus/Regina Coeli, nearly 790 homilies at Casa Santa Marta and about 900 new Saints, including the 800 martyrs of Otranto. Pope Francis has also held 7 Consistories, creating 101 Cardinals, and called several Special Years, such as those dedicated to Consecrated Life (2015-2016), St. Joseph (2020-2021) and Family, Amoris Laetitia (2021-2022). There are also several “Days” instituted by Francis: the last, in chronological order, is the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, which will be celebrated for the first time in July 2021, around the same time as the anniversary of Saints Joachim and Anne, the “grandparents” of Jesus.

راشيّا الفخّار، سيرة مسيحيّي الأطراف

راشيّا الفخّار، سيرة مسيحيّي الأطراف

بيار عطا الله يسرد التاريخ النابض بشغف الإنتماء


لا ينفصل جديد بيار عطا الله "راشيّا الفخّار، سيرة مسيحيّي الأطراف"1 عن مؤلّفاته السابقة،2 أو عن دوره كصحافيّ وكاتب يعنى بشؤون الديموغرافيا والأرض، بل ثمّة تواصل واضح ثابت لمسيرة المقاومة والنضال والمواجهة العلنيّة والمثابرة التي ينتهجها، والكتابة عنها بشغف ظاهر وعميق في آن، يستمدّه من الإيمان الأصيل الذي لا تزحزحه الصعوبات، ولا تزلزله المخاطر.


أصل الإسم والموقع

يلتصق اسمها بالفخّار، فكانت تُسمّى راشيّا الفوقا، في حين كانت راشيّا الوادي تُسمّى راشيّا التحتا، والسبب مجاورة راشيّا الفخّار لحاصبيّا، مقرّ الأمراء الشهابيّين ومركز زعامتهم؛ أمّا كلمة الفخّار فتعود لشهرة البلدة كأبرز مراكز حرفة صناعة الفخّار التراثيّة (ص 39 و57 و93). وهي إحدى بلدات العرقوب، تختبئ في كنف سلسلة جبال لبنان الشرقيّة، عند إحدى هضبات جبل حرمون الشيخ الجنوبيّة الغربيّة، أو جبل السريان، ومنها يرى المرء، بحسب ابنها القسّ يوحنّا حردان خوري، البحر البعيد وبلاد الجليل وبحيرتي الحولة وطبريّا وبلاد بشارة وقلعة الشقيف وجبل عامل والريحان وتومات نيحا وهضاب البقاع السفليّ (ص 35-36).3


مسيحيّة الإنتماء

هي مسيحيّة من الأساس (ص 79)، بدليل اسمها الآراميّ – السريانيّ والآثار التي تحمل رموزًا مسيحيّة. وكانت مركزًا يستقطب العائلات المسيحيّة النازحة من سوريا والأردنّ وفلسطين. ويتناول الكتاب كنيسة القدّيس جاورجيوس للروم الأرثوذكس (ص 100-109)، ثمّ بناء كنيسة التجلّي للروم الملكيّين الكاثوليك (ص 180-185)، والكنيسة الإنجيليّة المشيخيّة الوطنيّة (ص 185-187)، كما يروي قصّة الموارنة فيها (ص 188-193).


كنيسة القدِّيس جاورجيوس، أعجوبة العذراء، وقصّة الجرس

يذكر الكاتب أنّها بُنيت في أواخر القرن السابع عشر، في موقع معبد وثنيّ، أو قلعة لا تزال بعض حجارتها الأثريّة الضخمة موجودة في جدرانها، فترتفع عند هضبة عالية، رابضة بكلّ هيبتها وعظمتها وقبابها. وحول تجديدها، جاء أنّ القيصر الروسيّ ألكسندر الثالث (1863-1884 م)، ساعد في بنائها بواسطة "الجمعيّة الأمبراطوريّة الأرثوذكسيّة الفلسطينيّة"، وشيّدها معلّمون من الشوير في المتن، بين 1855 و1889 على أنقاض الكنيسة الأولى، بالحجر الكلسيّ المقصوب ذات النتوءات، بشكل مستطيل، على طراز حداثة القرن التاسع عشر (ص 103). وهي تمتاز بالحجارة الضخمة المقصَّبة عند أسفل الجدار الجنوبيّ؛ ولا تزال تحتفظ بجرن المعموديَّة من العهد العثمانيِّ.

زارها غسّان تويني وابنه جبران وبعثة من جريدة النهار في 22 تشرين الثاني 1973 (ص 239)، كما وقف الإمام موسى الصدر فيها وخطب أمام الأهالي محيّيًا صمودهم (ص 244).

إستهدفتها المدفعيّة الإسرائيليّة الحاقدة بالقذائف الفوسفوريّة في 18 تمّوز 2006، فدخلت إحداها من نافذة الشبّاك الجنوبيّة المواجهة للحدود، في الوقت الذي التجأ فيه العشرات من الأهالي إليها طلبًا للحماية، وكانت المعجزة أنّ القذيفة سقطت أمام أيقونة السيّدة العذراء العجائبيّة التي احترقت، ولم يُصب من الأهالي سوى عدد محدود بجراح بسيطة وحالات إغماء (ص 270). ولا تزال تلك الأيقونة العجائبيّة مرفوعة على حائط الهيكل، وهي واحدة من 4 أيقونات اشتراها وفد من وجهاء البلدة من القدس في 1913.

في 1932، وصل الجرس من بيت شباب، فلاقاه الأهالي عند العين بالحداﺀ والصلوات. ويُروى أنّ أحد أبناﺀ القرية تربّع داخل الجرس، وراح ينفخ بالمجوز عازفًا عليه، ويردّد الأهالــي بالحداﺀ: وانا دخيلِك، شــوحي بمنديلِك، والـجرس جاييلك، من بيت شباب؛ وعندما أنجز حاتم نفّاع ومعاونوه من بيت شباب العمل في تركيب الجرس، راح الأهالي يقرعونه طوال النهار. ويذكر الأب موســى الخوري أنّ المكاريّين من أهالي راشيّا الفخّار كانوا يبيعون الفخّار في فلسطين، فسمعوا قرع الأجراس يومها، فقالوا: لقد قرعت أجراس راشيّا (ص 159-160).


فتح لاند

حوّلت التنظيمات الفلسطينيّة المسلّحة البلدة إلى قاعدة لإطلاق الصواريخ على شمال فلسطين، وتنفيذ هجمات داخل إسرائيل، بموجب إتّفاق القاهرة المشؤوم، فعُرفت حينها حاصبيّا-العرقوب بـــ "فتح لاند" (ص 225). وفي اجتياح الجنوب الأوّل في 1978، تحوّلت راشيّا الفخّار والخريبة إلى قاعدة عسكريّة في مواجهة الجيش الإسرائيليّ الذي كان يرابط في تلّة الشعيري – التابعة لبلدة الماري قبل اجتياح الليطاني في آذار 1978، فدخلهما بعد قصفهما بشدّة ودمّرهما بشكل كامل. ثمّ جرفت القوّات الإسرائيليّة منازل البلدتين وسوّتهما بالأرض، وأقامت مكانهما قاعدة عسكريّة لها.


جديد الكتاب: سيرة مسيحيّي الأطراف

يؤكّد الكاتب أنّ بلدات العرقوب، كفرشوبا وكفرحمام وجباثا وشبعا والماري وغيرها، مسيحيّة في الأصل، فنزح عنها المسيحيّون نتيجة للغزوات (ص 85). والحقيقة أنّ كتب التاريخ لم تتطرّق إلى منطقة العرقوب إلّا لمامًا، لذلك يسدّ الكتاب ثغرة كبيرة في تاريخ الجنوب عمومًا، والعرقوب خصوصًا، فهو الكتاب الأوّل عن سيرة مسيحيّي منطقة العرقوب كتبه عطا الله بنبض الناس والتاريخ، فجمع روايات المعمّرين وذكرياتهم، حيث راشيّا ضيعته نموذج لضيعات الأطراف، فأرّخ تجذّرها بالأرض والدفاع عنها في مواجهة ذئاب الداخل منذ فتنة 1860، مرورًا بهجوم الثوّار المتاولة في 1925، وأحداث ثورة 1958، وإعلان دولة فتح منذ 1969، وصولًا إلى الحرب اللبنانيّة بين 1975 و1990.

يسرد عطا الله تاريخ ضيعته للحفاظ على الذاكرة التاريخيّة، فهو كاتب مسكون بها، وارتباطه بها وجوديّ، يتنفّسها حبًّا وشغفًا، فما يفرحها يفرحه، وما يقلقها ينعكس عليه، وهو لا يزال يحمل في قلبه كلّ جروحاتها وآلامها، ولكن آمالها وطموحاتها أيضًا بالعيش أوّلًا بالأمان والحريّة.

جان م صدقه                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


 في زيارة إلى دير مار جرجس الناعمة في صيف 2016، أخبرني الأب الرئيس سليم نمّور من الرهبنة اللبنانيّة المارونيّة بحماسة ظاهرة أنّ بيار عطا الله لعب دورًا ضاغطًا في موضوع بيع مزرعة بودين المجاورة لدير مار مارون في مجدل المعوش، فدخل الأباتي بولس نعمان في سباق مع عطا الله الذي كان يعدّ مقالة قاسية حول الموضوع في جريدة "النهار"، وكانت النتيجة أنّ الرهبانيّة اشترتها من السيد روبير الخوري وشقيقه وشقيقته لمصلحة دير مار جرجس - الناعمة، وتبلغ مساحتها 418 ألف م2.

1 – في 376 صفحة من القطع الكبير والطباعة الأنيقة.

2 - مساحة الحريّة – قصّة السيطرة على أراضي المسيحيّين في لبنان؛ لبنان تحت الاحتلال؛ الصداقة اللبنانيّة - الفرنسيّة؛ النفايات السامّة في بلاد الأرز.

3 - مراحل العمر، منشورات مكتبة المشعل الإنجيليّة، 1967، ص 691.