Abouna Antoun Abouna Antoun Abouna Antoun - Biography Abouna Antoun
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His Life || His Spirituality  
 
His Birth and Childhood

Gibreal (Father Antonios) was born in Ain EI Raha - Tannourine, in 1911. His parents, Youssef Kanaan Tarabay from Tannourine EI Faouqa, and Badawiyya Assaad Rached Tarabay, from the valley of Tannourine, were devout Maronites.

He had three brothers, George, Mikhael, and Boutros, and six sisters, Mariam, Wardeh, Bouterssieh, Nayfa, Shams, and Khazoun.

Fearing he might die, his parents bathed him in holy water at his birth. Later on, the parish priest, Father Boutros Tarabay, baptized him in the church of Our Lady of Ain Al Raha in the presence of his god father Tannous Ameen Tarabay, and his godmother Heleneh, the wife of Gerges Boutros Kenaan Tarabay, who were both from Ain EI Raha - Tannourine.

After the death of his parents, his uncle Boutros Tarabay, who had returned from Africa in 1922, looked after his education until he entered the monastery.
 
His Novitiate and Vows

In November 1928, the young Gibrael Youssef Tarabay was admitted to the Maronite Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He received the novice's habit and took the name of Brother Iklimos in the Monastery of Our Lady of Louaize in Zouk Mosbeh.

On March 16, 1929 by order of Aboot Gebrael Chemaly, he was sent to the novitiate at the monastery of Saints Sarkis and Bacchus in Aashkout.

On November 25, 1929 he was sent with two of his brother novice to the Monastery of Saint Alichaa in Becahrry in order to complete his novitiate.

On April 1st, 1930 he pronounced his vows and received the habit with his brother Estephan Tabet in the Monastery of Saint Alishaa, in the pres­ence of Father Youssef Maarbes, General Secretary and mentor of the seminarians.

He was called Brother Boutros, then Brother Antoun, according to the identity card given to him in Zouk Mosbeh on March 30, 1933.

From 1930 to 1935 he pursued his philosophic and theology studies in the Saint Elias School in Shouwaya.
 
His Promotion to Priesthood

In 1934 Brother Antoun Tarabay, along with four of his brethrens, Boulos Elwan from Aito, Neemtallah Lichaa' from Memneh, Estephan Tabet from Achkout, and Aghnatios Salameh from Jdidet Ghazir, were raised tot he Subdeaconate at the hands of Archbishop Youhanna El Hajj, Maronite Metropolitan of Damascus.

With the permission of Patriarch Antoun Aarida, the deacons Antoun Tarabay, Estephan Tabet, and Aghnatios Salameh were ordained priests by Archbishop Youhanna El Hajj, in the church of the monastery of Our Lady of Louaize on Sunday, February yd, 1935.

He newly-ordained priest celebrated his first Mass in the church of the Monastery of Saint Doumit, taking the four lines of Psalm 83, 3 as a motto for his priestly service:

"As the sparrow finds a home an the swallow a nest to settle her young,
My home is by your altar,

Lord of hosts, my King and my God". (Ps 83, 3)
 
His Monastery Duties and Service

From 1935 to 1949, Father Antonios was assigned the function of adviser to the Sisters of Saint John the Baptist - Hrash, during the superiorate of Mother Maria Maalouf.
From 1949 to 1981, Father Antonios was a member of the commu­nity of monks at the Saint Lichaa Monastery during the superiorate of Abbot Boutros Saab. After having been granted the authorization of the Order, Father Antonios moved to the Old Monastery in the Holy Valley, succeed­ing the hermit Father Antonios Gerges Ghosn from Al Deeman, who had passed away on September 17, 1949.

Between 1950 and 1964 Father Tarabay restored this monastery, using the dona­tions given by residents and emigrants, especially by his brother George and his sisters Mariam, Bouterssieh, and Wardeh.

On December 9, 1981, due to his illness, by order of the ecclesiastical authority, he was sent to the infirmary of Christ the King in Zouk Mosbeh for treatment.

At the end of the Lebanese war in 1990, after his treatment became impos­sible in Christ the King for security rea­sons, Father Antonios was sent to the Monastery of Saints Sarkis and Bacchus in Aachkout, where Father Philip El Hajj was then superior.

On June 3rd 1994, he was brought back to the infirmary of Christ the King to continue his treatment.
 
His Death and Burial

After his health had further deteriorated, he was admitted on June 5, 1998 to emergency room no. 106 in Saint Louis Hospital in Jounieh. He remained there until he breathed his last on June 20, 1998 at 12:30 a.m.

His body was enshrouded in the church of the monastery of Our Lady of Louaize, where Beshara Rahy, Bishop of the Maronite Diocese of Jbeil and scion of the Mariamite Maronite Order, presided the funeral ceremony. Abbot Saad Nemr and the prelate fathers assisted in the ceremony in the presence of a large number of monks, nuns, rela­tives and friends. Father Antonio's body was buried in an outside grotto adjacent to the old monastery of Saint Lishaa' in the Holy Valley, where he had spent 32 years of hermitic life.
Abouna Antoun
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