Church History

Saint Jude, also known as Laba or Libaos or Teddy, is the worshiped Saint in the village of El-Midane in the region of Jezzine, South of Lebanon.
In the old Maronite Liturgy, his feast day is on October 14 and he was considered as one of the 70th followers of Jesus.  In the Roman Liturgy, his feast day is on October 18.  In the liturgy printed out in Saint Charbel’s journal by Father Paul Daher in 1973, his feast day is on June 19.
El-Midane celebrates his feast day on October 18.
Saint Jude is also called Tedaous the Disciple, brother of Jack and Simon and Youssy, brothers of the Lord.  Many people considered Saint Jude as one of the 12th Disciples of Jesus, and they think he was murdered in the city of Al Roha.  Others think he was murdered in the city of Beirut, where a church bearing his name was built there.

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In the Liturgy published in Saint Charbel’s journal, an old story said that Saint Jude went to preach the Christ in Jerusalem.  Then he moved to Iraq, the Arab countries and Armenia, where he was captured by unbelievers and put to death.  It was also said that he met Simon the Kanaway in Persia where they joined efforts to preach the Gospel.  There, God gave them power over demons, magicians and the healing of the sick.  When army commander Bardach saw them, he was getting ready to attack India.  They advised him that he will win the war through a peace treaty, to the contrary of what the magicians speculated.  That was done, and Bardach was immediately baptized with his men.  This created hatred among the magicians who ignited the people to imprison Saint Jude and Simon where they were beaten to death in the year 68.
Maronite Patriarch Stephan Doueihy, the father of the Maronite history, mentioned that Saint Jude is a Disciple.  He indicated that in the year 1112, a Becharry priest had 3 daughters one of them, Takla, built many churches among them one in Bechanine in the Zghorta area dedicated to Saint Jude the Disciple.  Maronite Patriarch Simon Aouad also called him a Disciple.  This clearly shows the status of Saint Jude.
The first priest ordained to serve Saint Jude (Mar Laba) church in El-Midane was Antonios nephew of Patriarch Simon on March 10, 1753.  Patriarch Simon Aouad ordained many priests during his tenure, some of them when he was still a Bishop and the others when he became a Patriarch.  The first priest in El-Midane was during his patriarchal reign.  This meant that El-Midane was not inhabited before he came to the region.
Where was the first Saint Jude church built in 1753?  Aged people in El-Midane recall stories about the first church being a small one next to the present one where Patriarch Simon used it to celebrate masses for the small population of the village.
Some of the priests who served Saint Jude church in El-Midane were Simon Jacob Aouad who died in 1914, the son of Teddy son of Joseph son of Elias, the Patriarch’s brother.  Also, the priest Jacob son of the priest Simon Aouad who died in 1945.

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The current church was built in 1903.  That was done by the residents of El-Midane with no help from anywhere or anyone, not even the immigrants, where at that time immigration did not yet started.  In the earthquake of 1956, the church was subject to limited damages similar to other churches in the area.  That triggered a project to enhance the church and to try to enlarge it so that it becomes capable of accommodating the growing population of the village.  The project needed, a somehow, large financing at that time.  One of El-Midane’s sons, Monseigneur Tanios Abou Sleiman who was serving as a Patriarchal delegate in Mexico, called upon a wealthy immigrant from El-Midane, Massoud Farhat, who donated 42000 Lebanese Pounds (almost 20000 US$ at that time) to cover all the expenses for the renovation of the church which ended in the year 1969.  The following years saw additional enhancements to the church by the responsible committee, with the help of contributors and El-Midane Club, such as refurnishing, building new restrooms, a kitchen and new cemeteries.  In the near future (i.e., in 2007) a new hall will soon be added next to the church in addition to covering its rooftop with red argile.
It is our pleasure to say that the journey of Saint Jude from Hasroun in the Northern Lebanon to El-Midane in the South, through Patriarch Simon Aouad, was the threshold of a new era for the region of Jezzine.
Our Ancestors were simple, loving peasants who worked this land with love, hating no one.  We hope that our future will continue to show our commitment to this sacred land and to Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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