Saturday, January 10, 2009

Maronite rite: the glory of Lebanon shalt be given...

Some of the finest Catholics on the planet earth are Lebanese. They are warriors that we can learn from. Be inspired by their zeal and fidelity which is theirs. The crush of Islam never killed them all as they fled from Syria into the mountains of Lebanon where they remain to this very day. Abouna Sharbel, pray for us!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of all the Eastern rite Churches, the Maronite Church is the only one known by the name of a person—St. Maron, born in the 4th century and whose feast day we celebrated yesterday - February 9.

The followers of St. Maron, both monks and laity, were always faithful to the teaching of the Pope. The Maronite Church is the only one among the Eastern Churches that has always maintained its bonds with Rome and the Successor of St. Peter. In fact, in 517, as controversy continued to rage over the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon (451) regarding Christ as “true God and true Man,” persecution of the Maronites broke out which resulted in the martyrdom of 350 Maronite monks on account of their defense of the Council’s decrees.

During the seventh century, the Maronites again suffered persecution and fled for refuge to the mountains of Lebanon. There they maintained and grew in their Christian faith and culture. At the time of the Crusades, close bonds were established by the Maronites with the West which have endured to this day. Later on, the Holy See sent missionaries to Lebanon, and in 1584, Pope Gregory XIII established the Maronite Seminary in Rome which we can see in that picture.

Like the Chaldeans, the Maronites retain Aramaic for the Consecration. It is as close as one comes to being at the Last Supper. A Roman Rite Catholic may attend Divine Liturgy at a Maronite Catholic Church and fulfill their Sunday obligation. They may even join the parish - same faith, different flavor.

The Maronite Catholic Church is found in many countries around the globe. Here in the US, there are 2 eparchies (dioceses) and a seminary. Hope you will take time to attend the Maronite liturgy and discover the rich beauty of this Eastern catholic church.