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Related to Maronites: Melkites, Hashemites


Maronites (mârˈənīts), Lebanese Christian community, in communion with the pope. By emigration they have spread to Cyprus, Palestine, Egypt, South America, and the United States and now number about one million. Their liturgy (said mainly in liturgical Syriac) is of the Antiochene type, with innovations taken from the Latin rite. Their ecclesiastical head, under the pope, is called patriarch of Antioch; he lives in Lebanon. As in other Eastern rites, the parish priests are usually married. The Maronites have been a distinct community since the 7th cent., when they separated in the doctrinal dispute over Monotheletism; they returned to communion with the pope in the 12th cent. In the 19th cent., massacres of Maronites by the Druze brought French intervention; this gave France a hold in Lebanon and Syria. Besides the Maronites there are two other groups in Syria in communion with the pope—the Melchites and the Syrian Catholics.


See D. Attwater, The Christian Churches of the East, Vol. I (1947).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



adherents of the Maronite Christian Church. They reside for the most part in Lebanon (about 600,000 in 1971), with small groups in Syria, Egypt, North and South America, and Cyprus.

Maronite religious communities arose in the fifth to seventh centuries in northwestern Syria during the schisms in the Eastern Christian Church. Mar Marun is the legendary founder of the Maronite Church. In the 13th to 16th centuries the church recognized the supremacy of the Vatican, having preserved the old Eastern ritual and service in the Syrian (Aramaic) language; the Maronite service is also performed in Arabic. Since 1954 the head of the church has been appointed by the Vatican, with his residence in Lebanon. In accordance with the National Pact of 1943, the president of Lebanon, several ministers, and about one-third of the parliamentary deputies must be Maronites.


Sovremennyi Livan. Moscow, 1963.
Dib, P. Histoire de l’eglise maronite. Beirut, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: Pope Francis declared Maronite Patriarch Elias Howayek venerable Saturday, bringing the patriarch who oversaw the creation of the modern state of Lebanon closer to sainthood.
Following the war, he devoted his energies to securing reconciliation in Lebanon, particularly between the Maronites and the Druze.
Two more Maronite villages, Asomatos and Agia Marina, remain occupied although there is agreement on both sides for the Maronites to return.
Maron is the father of the Maronite Churche's spiritual and monastic movement.
LOUIS -- When Deacon Wissam Akiki was ordained as a Maronite Catholic priest Thursday night in St.
During an interview with journalist, Patriarch al-Rahi said that the Maronite Patriarchy invited the Syrian leadership to participate in the inauguration ceremony which will take place on March 25th, similar to other countries that have Maronite congregations.
In this remarkable book, Ussama Makdisi offers a marvelously subtle analysis of American missionary work in nineteenth-century Syria, and just as importantly, the Syrian Maronite reaction to the missionaries' overtures.
On the eve of this anniversary, Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir who at the same time sponsors the Christians of the "Cedar's Revolution" and the "Second Independence (from Syria)", addressed a message in which he considered that "Lebanon is the centre of gravity to secure and maintain the Maronites' unityC*and the Lebanese land is a legacy through which, and on which, the Maronite historical identity was established." It is understood from this definition that there is a physiological relationship between the Maronites and Lebanon; it is their homeland in which their identity and personal satisfaction exist.
Referring to Maronites who live in Cyprus, he said that one of the government's priorities is to help them "retain their identity and secure their prosperity".
The Maronites trace their beginnings to Saint Maroun who led a monastic life in the fourth century in Syria.
It marked a stark end to his promising beginnings: birth into a prominent family; grooming for the priesthood in the Maronite Church; stints in the service of the Maronite bishop of Beirut, a Muslim emir, and a Druze notable; and authorship of books of poetry and a treatise on the relationship between kinship and marriage.
Montreal--During March 14-26, Canada's 80,000 Maronite rite Catholics welcomed their spiritual leader on his first visit to this country.