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"Father Antoine Daniel was a man of great courage and endurance, whose gentle kindness was conspicuous among his great virtues. […] Verily, he burned with a zeal for God more intense than any flame that consumed his body." — Fr. Paul Ragueneau
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Essentially the Missal of St. Pius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary; that again is formed from the Gelasian book which depends on the Leonine collection. We find the prayers of our Canon in the treatise “De Sacramentis” and allusions to it in the 4th century. So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our enquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)
The Maronite Iconographer
published 23 July 2010 by Corpus Christi Watershed

One of my favorite things about working on this project is all the wonderful people that I get to meet. Before coming to Lebanon I was lucky enough to get to fly around the U.S., meeting various Lebanese and Maronite people of interest. Especially fruitful was my trip to New York City where Mike Naber, the executive director of the National Apostolate of Maronites took me around and introduced me to interesting people. One of the trips involved going to Scranton, PA (fans of the television show “the Office” will immediately ask me if I ran into Michael Scott) where I met Judy Soma, a delightful iconographer. Her icons are done in a unique fashion and don’t skimp on vibrancy and color. She has done several icons of the three Massabki brothers, the subjects of “Fire in Damascus” so of course, I was thrilled to meet her. While there she was nice enough to let me film her at work, and below is what came of it. Special thanks to Juliana Hinojosa for her fantastic editing:


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CLICK HERE to learn about Watershed’s ongoing video projects in Lebanon. CLICK HERE to read more of Eric’s blogs.