You go down to the venerable Deir Mar Elyshaa by the road of the Holly Valley, surrounded by the most spectacular natural scenery imaginable.
This monastery, so rich in history, reveals itself to your eyes far under the overhang of mighty soaring cliffs, where its remoteness has for centuries made it fitting retreat for holy monks and hermits turning their backs to the world. Indeed a world apart.
From here they sent up their pure prayers to the Almighty joined to the spiced smoke of incense curling up from their winging thuribles, practised austerity, mortification, fasting and manual labor, and pored over the sacred books to prepare themselves for their apostolate of teaching and preaching.
Mar Elyshaa is one the most important monasteries in the Holy Valley, comparable to Our Lady of Qannoubine, Our Lady of Howqa and Anthony Qozhayya.It is the scene of one of those uplifting Maronite sagas which make up a long history of holiness, of intellectual life and of heroism, cradled and flourishing in Lebanon but casting its rays over the whole Middle East.
Deir Mar Elyshaa is also of great antiquity. Many centuries ago, as the Maronites moved up into the Holly Valley, monks sought refuge in its first primitive structure and enlarged it little by little, year after year. For a very long period it was the residence of the bishops of Bsharry.