History of the Maronite Church
The Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome. It traces its heritage back to the community founded by Marun, a 4th-century Syriac-Aramean monk venerated as a saint. The firstMaronite Patriarch, Saint John Maron, was elected in the late 7th century.
As Christians went forth from Jerusalem they encountered different traditions, cultures, customs and languages, soon the Church became a communion of Churches united in love with each other, looking to the See of Peter in Rome as the first among them all. The Gospel of Christ has reached the four corners of the world.
Jesus prayed for their unity, “that they all may be one” (John 17:21).For Catholics united with the Pope in Rome, there is already an amazing unity even within the reality of cultural diversity.The Catholic Church, comprised of 21 Eastern Churches and 1 Western Church, is a communion of Churches, with the Pope as the visible head, “gathered in the one spirit, breathing as though with two lungs – of the east and of the west – and burning with the love of Christ in one heart – having two ventricles.” (Sacri Canones; Pope John Paul II)
One of the Eastern Catholic Churches is the Maronite Church. She has Her own hierarchy composed of a Patriarch who is Her father and head, and over forty Bishops who shepherd the many Eparchies in Lebanon, the Middle East and throughout the world.The Patriarch governs the Church in a synodal manner with his body of bishops as is customary in the Eastern Churches.