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Who are the Maronites?
   
  “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” Acts 11:26

The first Maronites were direct descendants of the people who had received the Faith from the Apostle Peter. The Maronite Rite is a direct continuation of the Church of Jesus Christ and His Apostles, the Church of the Bible, the Church of the Creeds, the Church of the Fathers and the Church of the seven Ecumenical Councils. They originated as an ecclesiastical grouping of Christians who assembled around the hermit monk Maron about the year 400 A.D. on the mountain slopes of Cyr, near Antioch, Syria.

After Maron's death in the year 410 A.D., his disciples saved his remains and in spite of strong persecution, his tomb became a place of religious pilgrimage. St. John Maron, the first Patriarch of the Maronite people, was a monk of the monastery of St. Maron, who was elected by the religious community to secure the apostolic succession to the See of Antioch. Accordingly, the Maronite Patriarchate was initiated by the election of John Maron in 686 A.D. and has continued, since his death in 707 A.D., to the present time. A total of 76 Patriarchs have ascended to the Antiochene See, including the present successor, Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch and the Entire East.
 

A Portrait of St. Maron
“Father of the Maronites”

   
  History of the Maronite Rite in the U.S.

The Maronite Rite was brought to the United States in the early 1900's with the immigration of many Maronites from Lebanon due to famine and persecution. The Maronites of the United States became an Exarchate in 1965, and in 1971 the Eparchy (or Diocese) of St. Maron was established with the See in Brooklyn. In 1994, the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon was established with its See in Los Angeles. The See was moved to St. Louis in 2001, to better serve its parishes. There are over 54 Maronite parishes and several missions in the U.S.

Bishop Abdallah Zaidan, who presides over the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, is the third Maronite Bishop.

Most Reverend Abdallah Zaidan
Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon.
   
   

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