The Maronite Church Arabic: الكنيسة المارونية) is an Eastern Catholic sui iuris particular church of the Catholic Church in communion with the Pope, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches by the Patriarch of Antioch, Bechara Boutros al-Rahi since 2011. Officially known as the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch al-Kanīsa al-Anṭākiyya al-Suryāniyya al-Mārūniyya), it is part of the Syriac Churches by liturgy and heritage.
|Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch|
|Founded||AD 410; |
|Recognition||Catholic Church, |
Eastern Catholic Churches
|Primate||Bechara Boutros al-Rahi|
|Territory||Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, Israel, Canada, United States, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico|
|Possessions||Approximately one third of Lebanese territory|
|Language||Arabic (Lebanese Arabic · Cypriot Maronite Arabic); Liturgical: Aramaic (Syriac)|
The Maronite Church Arabic: الكنيسة المارونية) is an Eastern Catholic sui iuris particular church of the Catholic Church in communion with the Pope, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches by the Patriarch of Antioch, Bechara Boutros al-Rahi since 2011. Officially known as the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch (Latin: Ecclesia Syrorum Maronitarum; Syriac: Īṯo Suryoiṯo Morunoiṯo d'Anṭiokia; Arabic: الكنيسة الأنطاكية السريانية المارونية) al-Kanīsa al-Anṭākiyya al-Suryāniyya al-Mārūniyya), it is part of the Syriac Churches by liturgy and heritage.
Traditionally, the Maronite Church is located in the Levant particularly around Mount Lebanon, where Bkerke, its current headquarters, is located. Other historical centers of importance include Kfarhay, Yanouh, Mayfouq, and Qadisha Valley. However, due to massive emigration since the 19th century, approximately two-thirds of church members are now located outside "The Antiochian's Range" and live within the worldwide Lebanese diaspora in many of the European Union member states, the Americas, Australia and Africa.
Establishment of the Maronite Church can be divided into three basic periods, from the 4th to the 7th centuries. First, was a congregation movement, with Saint Maroun as an inspirational leader and patron saint. The second period began with the establishment of the Monastery of Saint Maroun on the Orontes, built after the Council of Chalcedon to defend the doctrines of the council. This monastery was described as the 'Greatest Monastery' in the region of Secunda Syria, with more than 300 hermitages around it according to some records from the antiquities. After 518, the monastery de facto administered many parishes in Prima Syria, Cole Syria and Phoenicia.The third period of the establishment was when Sede Vacante followed the Islamic Conquest of the region and bishops of the Saint Maroun Monastery elected John Maron as Patriarch, according to the Maronite tradition, around 685 AD. The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch re-established their patriarchate in 751 AD.
Although reduced in numbers today, Maronites remain one of the principal ethno-religious groups in Lebanon, with smaller minorities of Maronites also found in Syria, Cyprus, Israel and Jordan. Maronite emigrants from Lebanon have taken their faith to distant lands, although many still regard Lebanon as their spiritual home.