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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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The Vatican Gradual cheered our hearts by restoring the authentic form of the hymns therein. But there are very few hymns in the Gradual. We looked forward to the continuation of the same work, where it was so much more needed, in the Vesperal, and then in the new Breviary. Alas, the movement, for the present, has stopped. The new Vesperal and then the Breviary contain Urban VIII’s versions. So at present we have the odd situation that in the Gradual the old form of the hymns is restored; but when the same hymn (for instance “Vexilia regis”) comes again in the Vesperal, we must sing the seventeenth-century mangling.
— Adrian Fortescue (25 March 1916)
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:


CLICK HERE to enlarge video

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