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The way to Our Lady Monastery in Hamatoura.
Late in the 13th century, at Our Lady Monastery in Hamatoura, Saint Jacob began his ascetic life. Later, when the monastery was destroyed by the Mamelukes, he reestablished monasticism along the perimeter of the ruined monastery. In time, he rebuilt the monastery, regenerating and giving renewed vigor to monastic life in the area. His spiritual briskness, vivacity, and popularity among believers drew the attention of the Mamelukes who set their minds to stop his verve and determination and force him to convert to Islam. He stubbornly refused their relentless pressures. When the Mamelukes' horrible coercive attempts failed, they dragged Saint Jacob, along with a number of monks and laymen, from Saint Georges Monastery, situated atop Mount Hamatoura, to Tripoli City (the capital of Northern Lebanon) and handed him to the wali (ruler). For almost a year, he endured tremendous tortures. Nevertheless, he did not give in or renounce his faith despite receiving both adulations and threats from the Mamelukes. Although intimidated by Saint Jacob's stubbornness and persistence, finally, as was their custom in punishing their enemies, on October 13th, Saint Jacob was beheaded. In addition, the Mamelukes burned his body to ensure the Church will not give him an honorable burial as a martyr, a burial befitting a saint. Not long after his death, seeing his sufferings and steadfast faith, our Lord bestowed on him everlasting crowns and graces and today he shines as a martyr as much as he was a beacon during his earthly life; at this time the Church announced Saint Jacob's holiness and added him to her list of honored Martyr Saints and prayed for his intercession. http://www.hamatoura.com/

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Additional Photos by Aleksandar Dekanski (dekanski) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 191 W: 98 N: 305] (3024)
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