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Father Jacques Haddad
Lebanese Capuchin Priest (1875-1964)

Born in Ghazir, in the heart of Lebanon, Capuchin Missionary, he traveled through the mountains preaching and teaching the people to pray. The last twenty-three years of his life were devoted to the apostolate of charity and care of the most abandoned. Thousands of poor people found in care of his Sisters of the Cross comfort and reason to hope. The cause for his beatification was introduced in February, 1979. He is the symbol of active, practical Christian for whom loving God means loving Him in those who suffer. Born February 1, 1875, in Ghazir, he was given the name Khalil (meaning the Well-Beloved). His parents were rich in Christian faith and love of hard work. He attended school in Ghazir and then at the college de la Sagesse in Beirut, studying Arabic, French and Syriac. In 1892 he went to Egypt in Alexandria to be a teacher of Arabic in the Christian Brothers' college. Returning home, he won his father's permission to enter the Capuchin order of Beit Khashebau, near Ghazir.

HIS EARLY LIFE He was ordained priest in Beirut on November 1, 1901. In 1910 he had 163 schools with 7,500 pupils. His method was to choose good teachers, assure a high standard of education and strengthen the child in the Catholic faith. Itinerant preacher from 1903 to 1914, he walks all over Lebanon proclaiming God's word. Nothing stops his priestly zeal. Chilled to the bone in winter, dripping sweat in summer, knapsack on his shoulder, he strides along. They call him the Apostle of Lebanon and he also preached in Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Turkey.

Ongoing CHARITY work On October 7, 1918, with his brother Capuchins and other helpers, he organizes the relief at 15 soup kitchens. 18,000 meals per day, 3,600,000 meals from November, 1918 to July 1919, 24 orphanages sheltering 10,000 boys and girls; workshops for the boys to learn shoemaking, weaving, ironwork, carpentry, printing, farming; schools for the girls to learn sewing, embroidery and tapestry. August 25, 1919 Father Jacques buys land on the hill of Jall-Eddib, 7 miles north of Beirut. He builds there a little chapel, which he dedicates to Our Lady of the Sea. He raises on a nearby rock a great Cross 30 feet high and erects a modest house of two stories. He opened St. Francis School, oldest one among Father Jacques' works. Starting on a small village institution, it stayed this way for 30 years, but extended wonderfully since World War II in becoming boarding school, then secondary school, and at last college for girls. Nowadays, it counts 2,000 students among them more than 1,000 free admitted.

HOSPITAL WORK In 1925 the building is solemnly consecrated. From 1933 to 1974 the hospital cared for 29,554 patients. Since 1975 admissions are between 1,500 and 2,000 per year. Over 1,822 sick patients of all nationalities and all religions were admitted. The movement of charity begun at Jall Eddib spread out through Lebanon. Father Jacques and his sisters multiplied their works of social assistance. More hospitals were then built ... 1948 at Antelias, the Hospital of Our Lady; 1949 at Dora, St. Joseph's Hospital; then St. Anthony's House for beggars and Providence Home for girls who were without a family.

EDUCATIONAL WORK Parallel to their hospital mission, Father Jacques and his Sisters carried on an important work of education. At Jall-Eddib the School of Saint Frances (1919) provided instruction for some 2,000 pupils. This is the Congregation's oldest and most important school. In 1950 also established the School of Saint Elie, with an orphanage of200 girls. Also in 1950 the School of Our Lady in the high mountain region held 800 pupils.

THE GLORY OF THE CROSS In 1925 he raised the Cross at Jall-Eddib. In 1932 he established at el-Kamar on the summit ofa 3,000 foot mountain, a great Cross 60 feet high which dominates the villages around it. In 1949 it was the turn of the Church of Calvary. In 1952 a monument was built; a church, 98 feet long, 55 feet wide, 82 feet high. While digging the foundation, the workers discovered a natural underground grotto. "It is for the Queen, cried Father Jacques; he made it into a oratory for Mary, Queen of the World. Father Jacques installed in that house of Christ the King the aged and infirm priests he ftound, giving them a foretaste of Heaven.

HOLY DEATH Father Jacques' body was worn out by vigils, fatigue and travels. Suffering from numerous ills, almost completely blind, stricken with Leukemia, he did not stop blessing God and working. He was sure of reaching his eightieth year. Then he was ready. Then calmly he gave up his soul to God. It was three o'clock in the afternoon of Saturday, June 26, 1954.

WAlTING TO BE GLORIFIED Laid to rest in the presence of thousands of the faithful, Father Jacques reposes in the Chap of the Convent of the Cross. In 1979 Jall-Eddib erected his statue. The giant statue, 12m.high) is a gift ofC. Haddad, a cousin of Father Jacques resident in Texas. Christ the King thus became a permanent home for retired priests of all rites. After the death of Father Jacques, additions provided extensive accommodation for Retreats and also for a free school for the neighborhood.

CAUSE FOR BEATIFICATION In Sept 1960, the diocesan inquiry in view of beatification was opened. In March 1977, the different inquiries were completed. The Promotor of the Faith gave a favorable opinion. The beatification of Father Jacques would be an example for the whole Church of heroic charity in favour of the poor, the disinheirited and the marginal. On Feb 24,1979, His Holiness Pope John Paul II signed the decree of introduction of the cause for beatification. The first session of the apostolic process took place in Lebanon on November 28, 1979.

EXTENSIONS OF HIS WORK CONTINUES "I Keep On Walking" .... extensions of his works continue: a school for 400 pupils at Hrajel, a school at Nabaih ran by the Sisters of the Cross, a neighboring technical school for 350 boys; extensions of psychiatric clinics to Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon, Chtaura also ran by the Sisters of the Cross in 1967 and running of military hospital in 1969.