Welcome to your house! We are the Monastery of St James ("Mar Yakub" in Arabic) in Syria. The Lord has blessed us to live in a beautiful monastery dating from the 6th century AD at about 90 km north of Damascus, and 15 km east of the Lebanese border. This was once the foremost monastery in the region when Syria had thousands of monks. Our rite is Melkite Greek Catholic and the name of our order, established in 2000 in full communion with Rome, is "The Unity of Antioch".
Our aim is to live in the spirit of the first monasteries of the East with a mission of hospitality to pilgrims and people seeking spiritual rest. Our aid also goes out to the suffering in the war. We seek a renewal of the original unity of Antioch where believing Jews and Gentiles worshipped the Lord Jesus in one spirit (cf Acts 11:19-30). Their spirit of love and unity was so profound it gave Christianity its name, “In Antioch the disciples were first called Christians” Acts 11:26. Thus our mission is ecumenical from the start, we pray for unity among all Christian denominations: “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21).
On the map below you can see the location of our Monastery, between Homs and Damascus, in the village of Qara.