Mar Aboun is also located on the south side of the Qannoubine Valley. The site consists of one church and a hermitage located in two natural cavities. According to early historians, this place was dedicated to Saint John the Small (“Mar Youhanna al Qassir”), surnamed “Abana” (meaning “our father” in Syriac).
The church is located in a cave some 25m deep and 15m wide. The church it- self is half the size of the cave with wide walls measuring 1 to 3m thick! It is built of sandstone, which is quite common in the valley. The entrance stands in the north wall. The church has one nave with a broken barrel vault and a semi-domed apse flanked by two vaulted niches. Four niches stand in the western wall of the church. An impost of red bricks stretches
along the church walls and the apse. A unique feature found in the Mar Aboun church is the presence of a sacristy (or Beth Shamsha in Syriac) near the apse. No other church has a sacristy in Qadisha.
The first mention of Mar Aboun dates to the 12th c. when the historian, Patri- arch Estephan Doueihi, reported that “this monastery was the director of all hermitages in the region of Bcharré …”10 Other chroniclers believe that Mar Aboun was a religious center for the Jacobites and drew such popular religious devotion that it threatened the superiority of the Maronite Monastery of Qannoubine.
After the expulsion of the Jacobites from Qadisha, the site of Mar Aboun was left abandoned until 1668 when a French Capucin father, Father François de Chasteuil, was given the site to live in. This was part of an attempt on part of the Maronites to erase any proof of existence of the Jacobites in the Qadisha Valley. The Maronites even integrated Mar Aboun, in their synaxeria in 1584 AD.