DEIR MIMAS: A Traditional Old Village, Top Quality Olive Oil
Deir Mimas (also spelled Deirmimas, Deir Mamas, and Deir Mimas) is a town 88 km south of Beirut in Lebanon. Named in honor of Saint Mamas, the town overlooks the Litani River and the medieval Beaufort Castle to the west and the snow-capped summits of Mount Hermon to the east.
Saint Mamas Monastery for the Greek Orthodox The monastery of St. Mema from which Deirmimas takes its name was built around 1404 A.D. The original monastery was a simple medieval construction with 6 monks’ cells, situated by a small church. The monastery fell into decay and was restored a number of times, most recently in 2004 before it was totally demolished during the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon. The present plan for the reconstruction of the site, which has been financed by Qatar, began in 2008 and has replaced the old monastery with a much larger construction. The site has been inaugurated by the ruler of Qatar and the Lebanese authorities in 2010. Since, the Monastery is open daily to all devotees and visitors from 9:00am to 7:00pm. Unlike the West, where Christmas ranks supreme, in the East it is Easter, centered on the cross and the resurrection of Christ. Another supreme festival of the year is the St. Mema’s festival on 15 September. On that day people take part in divine liturgy, after which they gather around for outdoor feast where everyone joins in to eat, drink and enjoy themselves.
The monastery is placed under the aegis of Father Salim Assaad who was given the reins of a ruined monastery and turned it not only into a peaceful place of worship but into a small museum for iconography. The icons are the most sacred, the most transcendent art that exists for the Orthodox Christians. The Monastery of St. Mema decorated with much-admired mosaics depicting the life of Christ has been made the house of many windows into the kingdom of God.