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Gibail and Batrun



A Maronite residential see. Gibail is merely the modern name of Byblos (q.v.) a titular see of Phoenicia. The diocese, administered by the Maronite patriarch through auxiliary bishops, comprises the civil districts of Ehden, Bcharra, Gibail and Batrun. It numbers 70,000 faithful, 470 priests, 277 churches and chapels, 14 convents of Baladites containing 177 religious, 2 of Aleppines containing 30 religious, and 2 of Isaites with 9 religious. There are also two religious houses in which there are 58 sisters. The patriarch resides at Bkerkey, where the patriarchal seminary of Saint-Jean-Maron is also situated, in which there are 30 students. Another seminary containing 32 students has been opened at Rumie. The question of dividing the diocese in such a manner that Gibail should form one diocese, and Batrun another, has been much discussed in recent years. Gibail is a town of about 1000 inhabitants, nearly all of whom are Christians, 650 being Maronites. There are 13 churches; three of them dating from the Crusades are very beautiful. The Catholic Melchite title of Gibail is united to that of Beirut; since 1902 the schismatic Melchite Diocese of Gibail is distinct from Beirut, and has jurisdiction over the mountainous region of Lebanon.

S. VAILHÉ








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