Cheikh Hanna el

Cheikh Keserwan El Khazen
Written by De Khazen Tuesday, 13 August 2013 04:24


Date of Birth: July 1879 in Faraya.
Husband of Juliette Louis El Khazen and Father of 4 children: Amin - Lily - Nayla - Ghassan.

Positions occupied during the Ottoman Reign:

- Director of Zouk (district Kesrouan) July 2nd 1898.
- Director of Bikfaya April 3rd 1902.
- Director of Zouk December 15th 1902.
- Director of Becharre January 21st 1903.
- Director of Jord Kesrouan March 1st 1904.
Middle and High School education: College des peres Lazaristes Antoura

Positions occupied after the Ottoman Reign:
- Mayor of Batroun November 6th 1916.
- Mayor of Metn May 19th 1920.
- Mutassarref of Mount Lebanon September 1st 1920, when General Gouraud proclaimed Greater Lebanon.
- Mutassarref of North Lebanon September 11th 1923.
- Administrator of Saida August 10th 1924.
- Administrator of Batroun April 27th 1927.
- Administrator of North Lebanon February 1st 1930.
- Head Inspector of Administrative Services and Controller of Municipalities September 5th 1932
(Quit the administration January 1st 1933 and entered into politics)

- Candidate for the legislative elections in 1937 on the unified list set by the French authorities in Mount Lebanon.
- Candidate at the legislative elections in 1943 on the National Bloc list.
- Co-Founder of the National Bloc Party which saw the light when he lived in Naccache in 1946.
- President of the party until 1952.
- Dean of the El Khazen family until his death January 6th 1966.

Awards and achievements:
- Many papal awards.
- Knight of the Legion of Honor of France in 1923.
- Officer of the Legion of Honor of France in 1949.
- Knight of the National Order of the Cedars.
- Commander of the National Order of the Cedars.

Cheikh Serhal Toufic el Khazen
Written by De Khazen Monday, 11 March 2013 16:02



A letter from Patriarch Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir to the family of Cheikh Serhal el Khazen.


Maronite Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East



This Apostolic blessing is addressed to the beloved ones hereby mentioned: Cheikha Nomiss, sister of deceased Cheikh Serhal Toufic el Khazen and her daughter, her cousins, her uncle’s widow and other relatives in Lebanon and abroad.


We were saddened, during our stay in Rome, by the news of the unexpected loss of your highly esteemed and beloved brother and Uncle Cheikh Serhal, who has answered God’s call and joined him in the heavens. Cheikh Serhal was known for leading a virtuous and ethical life, for his generosity and sacrifices. He was highly esteemed by many and his presence was felt at the highest levels in the Church and the country as a whole. Added to that, The high ethics and good habits that are collected in his personality were not strange to the prestigious Khazen family. His aspiration to seeking knowledge and wisdom were highly influenced by the fact that he was raised by his grandfather Cheikh Iskandar el Khazen.  


Cheikh Serhal attended one of the most prestigious Christian schools in the region, and acquired a prosperous knowledge after spending days and weeks going through research papers and archives. He also established solid relationships with a considerable number of foreign ambassadors, most notably the French Ambassador and the papal ambassador, whom he used to meet frequently to discuss several matters and strengthen the historical relationship between the Khazen family and the Vatican.


Cheikh Serhal owned a very rich library filled with manuscripts, documents and important letters exchanged between the French, the Khazens and the Dahdas. One of them is an old manuscript written by a relative of his at the start of the 20th century and addressed to the United Nations tackling human rights and the sovereignty of Lebanon and its independence. Cheikh Serhal never missed a chance to enrich his knowledge and was devoted to science and the good of his nation. One of his most generous actions was donating his rich library to the great Fouad Frem el Boustany asking him to spread the knowledge that is embedded in this library to the next Lebanese generations.


One of the topics that Cheikh Serhal was most passionate about was Lebanon’s history and the relationship between Lebanon and other countries in the Middle East, mainly those related to Christianity. He was always welcome at Bkerke and we looked forward to his views and opinions on the Church and the country in general. One of the topics that saddened him was the situation Christians have come to in Lebanon and the Middle East in general.


Even though he failed to marry and form a family given his many interests and busy life, Cheikh Serhal was devoted to his sister’s family and helped them in every way possible. His faith was unshakable and his generosity unmatched as he used to donate constantly to the church and offer help in its activities in every way possible, all without asking for anything in return.


Having said that, and in order to honor his memory, we hereby send you our esteemed Bishop Samir Mazloum to lead the funeral services and pray on his soul. With that, we send you our deepest condolences.


Rome 2005


Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir

Patriarch of Antioch 


Important events during Patriarch Youssef Raji El Khazen’s reign Part1/3
Written by De Khazen Monday, 2 January 2012 12:34




Important events during Patriarch Youssef Raji El Khazen’s reign Part1/3

1- During Patriarch Youssef Raji El Khazen’s rule, few priests were performing confessions outside the Lord’s house, thereby violating the church rules. Those forbidden practices were spotted by the Vatican, forcing them to issue a bulletin signed by the Pope Pius IX, stating the following:


“Under Chapter 4 of the Lebanese synod, it is clearly stated that Priests are not allowed to listen to believers’ confessions in their houses except in extraordinary circumstances. As such, few priests have been resorting to illegal confessions for their own comfort and personal benefits and other unjustifiable reasons. Given those facts, the Vatican recommends that its guidelines are republished and distributed and that all Maronites abide by it in an attempt to reinforce correct practices”

After the issuance of this bulletin, the pope Pius IX ordered on the 9th of February 1851, that all priests which have violated the sacred Church laws to be resigned from their positions.

2-  The years 1841 till 1845 witnessed several conflicts in Lebanon particularly in the Chouf and Sidon areas, where the Patriarchal chair and its school were sabotaged. As a result, and upon few bishops’ request, Patriarch Raji dispatched Priest Youhana Azar to Europe to collect donations for reconstructing the parish and its school.

Here’s an extract on what came in the Patriarch’s letter:

"To Whom It May Concern, and with God’s will, I hereby present to you this letter through our son the priest Youhana Azar. Due to the unfortunate circumstances that have surrounded our parish in Sidon and in the Chouf area, which have resulted in the destruction of our beloved Church and its school, Sidon’s revered bishop Abdallah el Boustani has sent, with the consent of our ancestor Patriarch Youssef Hbeich, Brother Youhana Azar to collect goods and aids from Christian believers in Europe for the parish and its chair that were totally destroyed last year. We hope and pray that our fellow Christian brothers will be generous enough to help us rebuild the Lord’s house.”

Published on 24 December 1845


Patriarch of Antioch Youssef Boutros


In order to have a better idea of the damages and losses that the Maronite parish in Sidon endured, we refer to the book written by Bishop Abdallah el Boustani in 1845 and quote few excerpts:

“We cannot remain silent on the atrocities that Christians of Lebanon had endured at the hands of their enemies the Druze, and from other nations that did not hesitate to steal Christians’ goods and properties, as well as commit massacres in larger numbers, without sparring women and children and elderly. The cruelty under which those crimes are being committed is unforeseen; Priests were killed without mercy and brutally, religious monuments and building were burned down to the ground, Saida’s school was destroyed completely for the second time in its history after Bishop al Boustani had rebuilt it during Bashir el Chehabi’s rule. More than 65 churches in total were burned without anyone to protect us or being held accountable.” 


Cheikh Bechara Jaffal el Khazen
Written by De Khazen Monday, 25 February 2013 20:30


Cheikh Bechara Jaffal el Khazen of Zouk Mikael is the son of Jaffal, son of Moussa son of Tarabieh, son of Abi Nawfal Nader, son of Abi Nader Khazen, son of Abi Saker Ibrahim who’s the son of Chidiac Sarkis el Khazen.


Born in 1756, he held the position of Governor of the Keserwan region between 1808 and 1822. At the beginning of his term, he had excellent relations with Emir Bachir Chehab II (Prince of Mount Lebanon) who used to visit regularly at his residence in Zouk Mikhael, escorted by his entourage which consisted of 500 persons with their horses. Prince Chehab II usually to stay as a guest at Bechara’s residence and enjoy a warm and splendid hospitality.


However, these relations worsened when Emir Bachir’s brother, Emir Hasan tried to annul Cheikh Bechara’s privileges on the Keserwan region. Emir Hasan’s attempt was foiled after it faced a fierce opposition from Cheikh Bechara and the whole Khazen family, with the help of Jeries (George) Baz.


Emir Hasan didn’t stop here but made things worse by putting a silk scale in Jounieh and violating Cheikh Bechara’s rights consequently. Cheikh Bis Bechara hara retaliated after receiving advice from his close friend Cheikh Bashir Jumblatt, went to Jounieh with his men and destroyed the scale.


This act upset the Emir who overthrew him as Keserwan’s governor and appointed Cheikh Fadel el Khazen and his nephew Emir Abdullah instead. This left Cheikh Bechara in control of Zouk Mikhael and Aintoura. His wife and sister assumed control of the two cities after Cheikh Bechara’s death in 1825.


Cheikh Bechara led an extravagant and prestigious life. He was highly respected and appreciated by his community and was a very generous and kind man. His wealth was so immense that he owned nearly all of Zouk Mikhael. HE also owned two thirds of the lands in Kfardebian and had properties in Aintoura and most of the Keserwan villages.


A year after his death, Emir Bachir Chehab II seized the opportunity and claimed ownership of all of Cheikh Bechara’s properties including his house and furniture, basing himself on a false claim that the Cheikh had no close relatives as direct heirs.  As a response to that outrageous act, the Khazens denied this claim by proving that Cheikh Bechara had such close relatives having the right to inherit him.


Cheikh Bechara’s inheritance caused major problems between Emir Chehab II and the Khazens and this dispute was finally resolved after an intervention from Priest Youssef Raji el Khazen ( Who later became a Patriarch between 1845 and 1854). The deal made forced the Khazens to pay the Emir 170,000 gold coins in exchange for keeping the properties.


Upon agreement, Cheikh Bechara’s wife, Ziara and his sister Badwanie asked Archbishop Antoine El Khazen to sell Bechara’s properties and pay the amount needed to the Emir


Patriarch Youssef Raji El Khazen (1845-1854)
Written by De Khazen Thursday, 1 December 2011 06:14


Patriarch Youssef El Khazen is the son of Abi Raji son of Younes son of Abi Sleiman son of Nader son of Khazen son of Ibrahim son of El Chidiac Sarkis El Khazen. Chidiac Sarkis El Khazen moved with his children from the town of Jaj to Bouar in Keserwan in 1545

Patriarch Youssef Raji El Khazen was still in school when he started his ecclesiastical career. He was a man truly devoted to God and was endorsed and blessed as a priest on the 6th of November in 1814 after receiving various previous honors.  It was Bishop Youssef Khairallah Estephan who blessed his promotion to priest.

On the 6th of April 1830, he was named Damascus Bishop by Patriarch Youssef Hobeiche the great.

Patriarch Youssef Raji El Khazen was originally from Ajaltoun and followed his studies at the renowned and famous Ain Waraka school.


Maronite Patriarch

After the death of Patriarch Hobeiche, a general Maronite assembly was requested to vote for a new patriarch and took place 9 days after his death on the 16th of May 1845. This delay is mainly explained by the bad security situation in Lebanon due to wars back then.

Here is a list of the attendees at St.Maroun Church at the Maronite Patriarchal seat in the North.

Antoine El Khazen Bishop of Baalbeck

Youssef Raji El Khazen Bishop of Damascus

Semaan Zouein Bishop of Tyr

Abdallah Boustani Bishop of Sidon

Boulos Moussa Bishop of Tripoli

Youssef Rizk Bishop of Kawrach

Philippe Hobeiche Bishop of Hamah

Boulos Massaad Bishop of Tartou

Toubia Aoun Bishop of Beirut

Youssef Geagea Bishop of Cyprus

There were also two priests present, Youssef el Mareed and Boutros Mansour, in charge of keeping record of the elections and any incident reported.

The outcome of this assembly was voting for Youssef Raji El Khazen as the new Maronite Patriarch of Antioch.

Stories that followed Youssef Raji El Khazen’s election

Many rumors spread prior to Raji el Khazen’s election that election were a fraud and protested by many bishops and groups, however the Pope confirmed that Patriarch Youssef Raji El Khazen’s was genuinely elected and gave him the apostolic blessing. 

One of the stories that were spread is found in Bishop Youssef el Debs book on Maronites’ history. He narrates that Bishops met in Our Lady of Mayfouk monastery after Patriarch Hobeiche’s death and voted for Bishop Youssef Raji El Khazen as the new patriarch and headed to the North patriarchal seat to confirm and celebrate the election. However Bcharreh residents regrouped and protested against the new Patriarch as they wanted Bishop BoulosMassaad to win and doubted the outcome of the elections.   

Another different and more accurate interpretation of Youssef Raji’s election is found in Priest Mikhail Gabriel al Chebabi’s testimony: 

 “After Patriarch Youssef Hobeiche had died at the patriarchal residence North of Lebanon, all bishops agreed to hold a general assembly. They first called on all Bishops to come to the North for the voting, however many were worried that elections might not be held properly and the freedom of voting might be compromised by the place and time specially that Lebanon was in times of war. This led to the interference of French consul in Beirut who sent his personal associate to guarantee the adequate circumstances for holding the elections. After convincing all bishops to attend, Bishops from Keserwan were the first who headed to the St.John Maroun monastery in Diman. Being mostly from El Khazen noble family, locals in Bcharreh first sought Knights from the Khazen family came to impose their candidate for the new patriarchal seat, before the French consul intervened once again to ensure the legitimacy of the elections. Elections took place and Youssef Raji El Khazen was voted as the new Maronite Patriarch of Antioch. In an attempt to protest this outcome, certain groups tried to protest and make a scene before Sheikh Boutros Karam and French consul’s messenger calmed them down and advised them otherwise. 

Patriarch Youssef Raji El Khazen was elected on the 18th of August 1845 as the new Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and he resided in Our Lady of Bechara in Zouk Mikael, Keserwan.  Upon his election, he dispatched a letter to Rome through his messenger Nicolas Mrad asking for the papal blessing. Few days later, he received a letter from his beatitude Pope Gregory XVI blessing his victory and confirming the elections.