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Saint Maroun

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Saint Maroun

For other uses, see Maron (disambiguation).
"Maroun" redirects here. For other uses, see Maroun (disambiguation).
"Marun" redirects here. For the village in Iran, see Marun, Iran.
Saint Maron
Vatican City.
Born Unknown
Died 410 AD[1]
Kefar-Nabo, Ol-Yambos, Syria
Honored in Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Maronite Church
Major shrine Maronite Church
Feast February 9

  Part of a series of articles on the

County of Tripoli
Ottoman rule (1860 conflict  · Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate)
1958 Lebanon crisis  · Greater Lebanon
Lebanese Civil War (South Lebanon conflict  · Taif Agreement)

Religious affiliation
Maronite Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
Lebanese Maronite Order
Mar Bechara Boutros Raï

Lebanese politics
Lebanese nationalism
Kataeb Party  · Lebanese Forces  · Free Patriotic Movement

Arabic (Lebanese Arabic  · Cypriot Arabic)  · Aramaic (Syriac)

Cyprus · Israel · Lebanon · Jordan · Syria

Maron (also Maroun or Maro; Syriac: ܡܪܝ ܡܪܘܢ, Mor(y) Morōn; Arabic: مار مارون‎) was a 5th-century Syriac Christian monk whose followers, after his death, founded a religious Christian movement that became known as the Maronites.[2] The religious community which grew from this movement is the Maronite Church.

Saint Maroun was known for his missionary work, miraculous healing and teachings of Christian monotheism. He was a priest that later became a hermit. After his death in 410 AD, his life of sanctity and miracles attracted many followers and drew attention throughout the Mediterranean empire. In religious imagery, Saint Maroun is often portrayed in a black habit garment with a hanging stole, accompanied by a long crosier staffed by a globe surmounted with a cross.

The Maronite movement

Maroun is considered the Father of the spiritual and monastic movement now called the Maronite Church. This movement had a profound influence in Lebanon, and a lesser degree in modern-day Syria, Jordan and Palestine. Saint Maroun spent all of his life on a mountain in Syria. It is believed that the place was called "Kefar-Nabo" on the mountain of Ol-Yambos, making it the cradle of the Maronite movement .

The Maronite movement reached Lebanon when Saint Maroun's first disciple Abraham of Cyrrhus who was called the Apostle of Lebanon, realised that there were many non-Christians in Lebanon, so he set out to convert them to Christianity by introducing them to the way of Saint Maroun. The followers of Saint Maroun, both monks and laity, always remained faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Saint Maroun's feast day is celebrated on February 9.[3]

Monastic Spirituality

Maroun's way was deeply monastic with emphasis on the spiritual and ascetic aspects of living, contrasted by the fact that the 'Khoury,' or, 'priest' of the Maronite rite can be a married man. For Saint Maroun, all was connected to God and God was connected to all. He did not separate the physical and spiritual world and actually used the physical world to deepen his faith and spiritual experience with God.

Saint Maroun embraced the quiet solitude of the mountain life. He lived his life in open air exposed to the forces of nature such as sun, rain, hail and snow. His extraordinary desire to come to know God's presence in all things allowed Saint Maroun to transcend such forces and discover that intimate union with God. He was able to free himself from the physical world by his passion and fervour for prayer and enter into a mystical relationship of love with God. He was also a holy man. The Maronite church can occasionally accept a married man to become a priest in the event the marriage itself took place before the concerned individual pronounces the required vows and certainly before being ordained.

Consequently, married priests can only perform ministry duties for the rest of their lives and would never be allowed to occupy higher positions within the church itself.


Saint Maroun was a mystic who started this new ascetic-spiritual method that attracted many people in Syria and Lebanon to become his disciples. Accompanying his deeply spiritual and ascetic life, he was a zealous missionary with a passion to spread the message of Christ by preaching it to all he met. He sought not only to cure the physical ailments that people suffered, but had a great quest for nurturing and healing the "lost souls" of both non-Christians and Christians of his time.

This missionary work came to fruition when in the mountains of Syria, Saint Maroun was able to convert a temple into a Christian church. This was to be the beginning of the conversion to Christianity in Syria which would then influence and spread to Lebanon. After his death in the year 410, his spirit and teachings lived on through his disciples.

His burial place is a debated issue. Some Lebanese sources, such as Giuseppe Simone Assemani and Maronite bishop Yusef al-Dibs believe he was buried Arethusa or modern-day al-Rastan along the Orontes River in Syria, while others like Jesuit priest Henri Lammens claim he is buried in Brad village to the north of Aleppo.[4]


Notable Recognitions

On 23 February 2011, Pope Benedict XVI unveiled a statue of Saint Maroun on the outer wall of Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and imparted his Apostolic Blessing. The 15 feet tall statue was commissioned by the Maronite Church to the Spanish sculptor Marco Augusto Dueñas. The saint appears in the sculpture holding a miniature, Maronite style church; the sculpture also features an inscription in Syriac reading: The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon. The statue occupied the last available niche in the outer perimeter of Saint Peter's Basilica.[5]

In June 2012, an icon of Saint Maroun, as well as several icons based on images from the 5th-century Syriac Rabboula manuscript including the Crucifixion, the Marian icon of the "Mother of Light" and the Evangelists, was donated, installed and was solemnly attended by Cardinal Donald Wuerl at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C,[6] and was formally dedicated on September 23, 2012.

See also

Saints portal


External links

  • Our Lady of Lebanon
  • The Eastern Catholic Churches
  • The Maronite Hermits
  • German Homepage of Maronitische Christliche Union Deutschlands e.V. Arabic/German

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