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(Catholic Encyclopedia: Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas)

St. Maron (+ 410 A.D.)

The Maronite Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in communion with rome, has a history reaching back to the fifth century. The monks of the monastery of St. Maron, from which the Church takes her name, were fierce opponents of the Monophysite heresy who learned to be independent during the violent theological struggle. At one point, the Monophysites killed three hundred fifty monks loyal to the teachings of the council of Chalcedon. Correspondence of the time between St. Maron [the monastery] and Pope Hormisdas reveals that Rome recognized a degree of autonomy among the Maronites even then.
      In the seventh century, during the conflict with the Arabs, the Patriarchs of Antioch moved to Constantinople and were appointed by the emperor, thus leaving the Chalcedonians in Syria without a patriarch. In response, the monks of St. Maron and other local bishops elected the first Maronite patriarch in 685.
      By the mid-eighth century, most Maronites had moved to Lebanon and established a tightly-knit Christian society presided over even in temporal affairs by the patriarch. The Crusades brought the Maronites into direct contact with the West, and in 1215 the Maronite patriarch participated in the Fourth Lateran Council and later received the pallium from Pope Innocent III.
      From that time on, ties have been very strong between the Maronites and Rome, leading to a degree of Latinization of this Oriental Church. The use of Syriac, however, has been retained in the Maronite Liturgy.
      Because of constant political turmoil and intermittent war with Muslims, many Maronites have left Lebanon. The Maronite patriarch still resides in [Lebanon] but has jurisdiction over dioceses in Lebanon,
 Syria, Egypt, Australia, Brazil and the United States.