In the true spirit of monastic tradition, the Lebanese Maronite Order (OLM) was founded in 1695 from within the Maronite Syriac Antiochian Church, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by four young Maronites from Aleppo: Gebrayel Hawwa, Abdallah Qaraali, Youssef Al Bitin, and Gebrayel Farhat. In 1706, it took the name of “the Lebanese Order” since it has its origins in Mount Lebanon. It is, to date, the only monastic order to be named after its mother country.
On March 31, 1732, the OLM became a Pontifical Order when Pope Clement XII confirmed its monastic Rule, which became the model for Maronite legislation and for the establishment of other Eastern Christian monastic orders.
As testimony to its monastic and ascetic spirituality, God granted the Order the grace of having four of its children raised to the altars of the Church: Saint Charbel (1977), Saint Rafqa (2001), Saint Nimatullah (2004), and Blessed Brother Estephan Nehme (2010).
The OLM has fifty monasteries in Lebanon and fourteen others abroad. Grounded in health and education, its mission has led it to establish two hospitals, one university, which is home to the only pontifical faculty of theology in the Middle East, and fourteen schools, in addition to several other institutions in the service of evangelization and humanity.