“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. A total of 76 Patriarchs have ascended to the Antiochene See, including the present successor, Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, Patriarch of Antioch and the Entire East.