St Maron

From Maronite History

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St Maroun His feast day is celebrated on 9 February.
St Maroun His feast day is celebrated on 9 February.

Contents

His birth and death

We have absolutely no idea about where exactly Saint Maron was born and raised. The dates of his birth and death are not yet determined with a great degree of certainty[1].

About his life, Telamon believed that Maron was either a student or a colleague of Asbisimas who was famous between 364 and 387[1].

About his death, we know for sure that Jacob and Linmaus lived a monastic life in the open for 38 years, the same way Maron lived, after they have went to him. If we accept the hypothesis of the date of birth put in Religionis Historia[1], then we will conclude that Maron was still alive around 406 and 407 A.D and therefore he could have died between 407 and 423 A.D.

Why before 423 A.D: We don't have any certain evidence, but only consensual proofs

  • Secondly, the building that has been constructed in Maron's honor after his death in Brad[1], is very close to the Cathedral of Julianus built in 402 A.D, and it's construction date cannot be before 423 A.D

Theodore of Cyrus said: "[...] he felt very ill and died, and that was done to let us understand the weakness of human nature [...]"

We understand from all of the above that Saint Maron didn't live a long life.

Saint Maron according to the Maronite tradition

According to the Maronite tradition, the Maronite Church is linked to Saint Maron personally. This tradition is of an important value since it represents the people's thoughts since the fifth century, or at least since the middle of it, or more precisely since 452 the foundation date of the Saint Maron Monastery.

Maron in Theodore of Cyrus’ Religionis Historia:

During the 4th century the name Maron was common in Syria. However, the Maronite tradition points to the most famous of those, Maron the hermit.

Jacob III, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox church, says: …the famous among those Marons are:

  • Maron, the messenger of Sawiros of Antioch (512 - 518)
  • Maron, the messenger of Jacob (Yaacoub al-srouji) (512+)
  • Maron, the hermit of Amad
  • Maron, the Abbot of the Easterners’ monastery in Mesopotamia (518 - 522)

On the other hand, the Maron we are looking for is more probably a monk who lived before 452 A.D, because given the name “Saint Maron Monastery”, we are more likely to conclude that there was a monk/hermit called Maron after whom we called the monastery in respect to his memory.

It seems that the hermit Maron, mentioned in Religionis Historia, has these qualities while the other Marons were born after 452.

Chapter sixteen of Religionis Historia

On the summit of the mountain

[...] I will move to Maron [...] he chose to live in the open, so he took sanctuary on top of mountain venerated by pagans[1] [...] he built there a wooden house for himself that he barely used.

The gift of blessing and curing

[...] and God gave him generously the gift of blessing and curing. He had a reputation everywhere that brought people around him; his work was a living proof of his gift. [...] when physicians used a medicine per disease, Maron's prayers were the unique cure for all diseases.

The teacher and the spiritual father of the hermits of Korosh

He wasn't only curing bodies, he also took care of soles [...] Jacob the Great is one of his pupils

His death and his feast

[...] after a life of teaching and preaching, he was seriously attained by a fatal illness and he died. The neighboring towns fought to capture his remains and the winning town took his body and built for him a sepulture.

Was Maron a priest?

Based on many proofs, many are those who believe that Maron was a priest:


Sources

  • Archbishop Youssef Anis Abi Aad - Mar Marun, his life and death (Alepo, 2004)
  • Abbot Naaman - Maronitism, Theology and life

Notes

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