| Share


Maronites (mârˈənĪts) [key], Lebanese Christian community, in communion with the pope. By emigration they have spread to Cyprus, Palestine, Egypt, South America, and the United States and now number about one million. Their liturgy (said mainly in liturgical Syriac) is of the Antiochene type, with innovations taken from the Latin rite. Their ecclesiastical head, under the pope, is called patriarch of Antioch; he lives in Lebanon. As in other Eastern rites, the parish priests are usually married. The Maronites have been a distinct community since the 7th cent., when they separated in the doctrinal dispute over Monotheletism; they returned to communion with the pope in the 12th cent. In the 19th cent., massacres of Maronites by the Druze brought French intervention; this gave France a hold in Lebanon and Syria. Besides the Maronites there are two other groups in Syria in communion with the pope—the Melchites and the Syrian Catholics.

See D. Attwater, The Christian Churches of the East, Vol. I (1947).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Maronites from Infoplease:

  • Maronite: meaning and definitions - Maronite: Definition and Pronunciation
  • Maronites - Maronites (3 syl.). A Christian tribe of Syria in the eighth century; so called from the monastery ...
  • Eastern Rite Churches - Eastern Rite Churches These include the Uniate Churches that recognize the authority of the pope ...
  • Camille Chamoun - Chamoun, Camille Chamoun, Camille , 1900–1987, Lebanese political leader. Chamoun held a ...
  • Cyprus: Land and People - Land and People Two mountain ranges traverse the island from east to west; the highest point is Mt. ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches: Branches, Schisms, and Heresies

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring