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HISTORY

CHRONOLOGY OF THE MARONITE CHURCH

Compiled by Mr. Albert G. Albert

  

313 A.D. Edict of Milan - Ending persecution of Christians guaranteeing freedom and complete toleration of all religions.

325 A.D. The first Council of Nicea holding that Jesus is "true God of true God."

405 A.D. While in exile in Armenia, Saint John Chrysostom writes to Saint Maron asking him to send his disciples to Lebanon to evangelize the mountain.

406-408 A.D. The disciples of Saint Maron, under the leadership of Saint Abraham of Cyrrhus, arrive in Lebanon to evangelize the natives of the mountain who are still pagan and worshipping Adonis. They reach the Afka/Adoura area and begin preaching Christianity.

410 A.D. After the death of Saint Maron, the great Monastery of Beit Maroun is established near Qa'lat al Mudeeq, Syria.

451 A.D. Council of Chalcedony affirming Christ's true nature, human and divine, united in one person, thus rejecting previous heresies.

452 A.D. Upon the request of Bishop Theodoret of Cyr and Pope Leo, Emperor Marcianus begins construction of the Great Monastery of Saint Maron near the Orontes River.

517 A.D. 350 monks are ambushed and killed near Allat Semaan on their way to Saint-Simon Stylites' Monastery near Aleppo, Syria. Their feast day is celebrated on July 31.

670 A.D. About 670 A.D., the Byzantine Empire hired a highly trained military army of mercenaries. Composed of Christian ethnic groups from Armenia/Georgia in the Amanus Mountains and from Bosnia/Macedonia. They inflict severe losses to the Islamic Umayyads to the point that they sued for peace paying heavily on gold, horses and freedom of thousands of Byzantine prisoners. This brass wall on the eastern flank of the Byzantine Empire waged successfully into 685 A.D.

680 A.D. Sixth Ecumenical Council coincides in Constantinople and decree Christ has two natures. The Maronites adhere to their proclamation.

685 A.D. A treacherous agreement ensues between the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II and Caliph Abdel Malek ibn Morwan dismantling the Maronite Army of Marada and Jarajima. 13,000 of the army are sent back to Armenia/Georgia and Bosnia/Macedonia and 17,000 enter the mountains of Lebanon and become followers of Patriarch John Maron I, first Maronite Patriarch.

686 A. D. The founding of the Maronite Patriarchate and enthronement of Saint John Maron, Bishop of Batroun and Mount Lebanon, as its first Patriarch. Saint John Maron was the founder of the Maronite Church and the Maronite nation (al tho'I'fa). Also its first Patriarch, Saint John Maron was born in the town of Sarum, Syria, near Antioch. He was baptized John and added Maron to his name, when he became a Maronite monk. He was sent to Antioch as a young child to study Syriac and Greek. Later on his entry to Saint Maron's Monastery, he studied grammar, mathematics, Holy Scripture and science. He then furthered his studies of Greek and Patristic. He became an outstanding monk of Maron's monastery. He was ordained a priest and became a missionary converting many to the Maronite Catholic faith. In 676 A.D., he was consecrated Bishop of Batroun by the Papal Legate in Antioch, Syria. Under his guidance the Maronite community grew in numbers and zeal. It was during his time as Bishop of Batroun that the Byzantine Emperor disbanded the mercenary armies called both Al Jarajimah and the Marada (rebels) and ordered them to return to their homelands of Armenia/Georgia and Bosnia/Macedonia. Being Christians, many refused to return and joined John Maron's church and became Maronites For hundreds of years afterward, the Maronite homeland remained free and safe from harm. He died in 707 A.D. and was buried in Kfarhai. His feast day is celebrated each year on March 22.

687-702 A.D. A vacancy developed when the Byzantine Emperor refused to name a successor to the Patriarchate of Antioch. Therefore, the Maronites and their allies elect John Maron Patriarch of Antioch. Is it a coincidence, the Pope at that time was Saint Sergius I, a son of Antiochene parents.

694 A.D. Byzantine troops enter Syria to attack Saint Maron's Monastery and other Maronite institutions. From there they entered Lebanon and attacked the major Maronite strongholds. A decisive battle took place at Smar Jbeil, near Batroun, when the Maronites under the leadership of Emir Abraham, a nephew of Saint John Maron, defeated and destroyed the Byzantine army under the leadership of generals Maurice and Mauriciano, who were killed in battle. It was in that stand that Lebanon was dedicated and consecrated as the national and religious homeland of the Maronites.

938 A.D. In 938 A.D., with the final destruction of the monastery of Saint Maron by the Islamic Arabs, the last Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, John VI, who resided In Syria, fled to the mountains of Lebanon. Here, the Maronites re-established the Patriarchate out of reach of the Islamic forces.

1054 A.D. Pope Urban II launches the first crusade to liberate the Holy Land.

1215 A.D. Patriarch Jeremiah El-Amsheeti participates in the ecumenical council of Lateran IV in Rome. Pope Innocent III recognizes the Maronite succession to the See of Antioch in his Bulla of 1215 A.D.

1250 A.D. King Louis IX of France expressing his gratitude and eternal friendship to the Maronite Nation and its people for their aide and friendship writes a letter on May 21, 1250 A.D..

1440 A.D. Qannoubine is established as the Seat of the Maronites.

1577 A.D. The Birth of Gabriel Sahyuni of Ehden, scholar and historian.

1687 A.D. The birth of Maronite priest, scholar and historian, Yusif Sim'aan Assemani, a native of Hasroun, Lebanon. He died in 1768 A.D.

1736 A.D. Synod of Mount Lebanon formally established the present Maronite dioceses complete with their territorial boundaries and permanent sees.

1800 A.D. Begins the reign of Bashir II Chehab, ending in exile in 1840 A.D. A Maronite by birth, Bashir II died piously in his faith in 1850 A.D.

1860 A.D. The massacre of Christians in Lebanon and Syria was only a pretext for the economic and social destruction of the Christian communities. The horrors of the holocaust gave impetus to the exodus of the Christians to various parts of the world which continue to this day. Among the victims were members of the Massabki family, Francis, Abdel Mohti and Raphael. They died at the altar of Saint Francis in Damascus, Syria. Sixty-three years later Pope Pius IX beatified them.

1880 A.D. One of the first Maronite priests to arrive in the United States to serve the growing Maronite community in New York City was the Reverend korkemaz.

1912 A.D. The sinking of the S.S. Titanic resulted in the tragic loss of hundred of lives of Lebanese either emigrating or returning to the United States.

1914 A.D. The First World War begins with the planned and systematic starvation of the Christians in Lebanon by the Ottoman Turks resulting in the loss of 30% of the Christian population of Lebanon. 1918 A.D. The First World War ends and France is given the mandate over Lebanon and Syria.

1920 A.D. The country of Lebanon is declared a Republic under the French Mandate. 1941 A.D. The United States enters into the Second World War after the Japanese armed forces strike Pearl Harbor in a sneak attack on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941.

1942 A.D. On April 2, 1942 the cause of the Maronite monk, Sharbel Makhlouf (1828-1898) of the Lebanese Maronite Order was introduced for Beatification.

1945 A.D. The Second World War ends with the tragic loss of over 60 million people worldwide. 1950's A.D. The Maronite clergy seek approval for the establishment of the Maronite Seminary in the United States.

1961 A.D. Under the auspices and with the help of Archbishop Patrick A. O'Boyle of Washington D.C. (a native of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), the Seminary opened on September 24,1961 and was officially dedicated by his beatitude, Patriarch Paul Peter Meouchi, on August 26, 1962.
Monsignor Peter Eid purchases 80 acres of land in North Jackson, Ohio for the intent of erecting a shrine in honor of Our Lady of Lebanon. Saint Maron's Parish in Youngstown, Ohio and Newcastle Pennsylvania seek and receive approval by Pope John XXIII and Bishop Emmut M. Walsh, Bishop of Youngstown, Ohio to proceed.

1964 A.D. On Sunday, August 16, 1964, ground is broken for the construction of the $200,00 replica of the shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon, Jounieh, Lebanon.
The National Association of Maronites, the forerunner of the National Apostolate of Maronites (NAM) was formed for the purpose of uniting the Maronite laity in the United States, to support the Seminary and the establishment of the Maronite Dioceses.
The National Association of the Maronites holds first convention May 1-3 in Washington, D.C. Visiting Maronite Bishop Francis M Zayek ordains Robert Shaheen, first American- born Maronite to be ordained by a Maronite bishop in the United States on May 2nd.

1966 A.D. On January 10, 1966, Pope Paul VI establishes the Maronite Apostolic Exarchate for the United States and appoints Francis M. Zayek, S.T.D., former Maronite Bishop of Brazil, as its first Exarch. Bishop Francis was installed on June 11, 1966 and established his first chancery and residence in Detroit, Michigan. At the time of his installation there were 43 Maronite churches in the United States.
In the closing days of Vatican Council II, the beatification of the Maronite monk Sharbel Makhlouf was announced, and he was declared blessed.

1971 A.D. Pope Paul VI raised the Maronite Exarchate to the status of a diocese on November 1971. The title of the new diocese became "Diocese of Saint Maron."

1972 A.D. Francis M. Zayek, S.T.D. is formally installed as "bishop of the Diocese of Saint Maron," June 4, 1972. 1977 A.D. The seat of the Diocese of Saint Maron is moved from Detroit, Michigan to Brooklyn, New York.
Pope Paul VI canonizes Sharbel, Maronite Priest/Monk, in the Basilica of Saint Peter's Rome, October 9, 1977.

1980 A.D. Monsignor John Chedid of Los Angeles, California is appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Maron on October 28, 1980. The consecration of the auxiliary bishop took place on January 25, 1981.

1982 A.D. Bishop Francis M. Zayek, S.T.D. is given the personal title of "Archbishop."

1983 A.D. National office of the National Apostolate of Maronites is established in the offices of the Diocese of St. Maron, Brooklyn, New York.

1986 A.D. Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary observes its 25th anniversary with a symposium of reflections and topics on October 16-17. The seminary had prepared thirty-six men for priestly ministry in the Diocese of Saint Maron during its twenty-five year history.

1987 A.D. new Christ the King Chapel solemnly dedicated by Archbishop Zayek on December 8, at National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in North Jackson, Ohio.

1991 A.D. Diocese of Saint Maron-U.S.A. celebrated the 25th anniversary of the establishment of a Maronite hierarchy in the United States in Cincinnati, Ohio. Saint Anthony of Padua Church hosted the NAM Convention July 17-21.

1994 A.D. On March 1, the Vatican issued a proclamation creating the new Diocese, the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles, naming Bishop John G. Chedid as the new Eparch.
His Excellency Bishop John G. Chedid was enthroned as the first Bishop of the newly created Eparchy of Our Lady of Los Angeles for the Maronites during ceremonies held at St. Charles Borromeo Church, North Hollywood, California on June 23.

1995 A.D. His Holiness Pope John Paul II appoints Chor-Bishop Wadih Peter Tayah of Miami, Florida as the first Bishop of the newly erected Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of the martyrs of Lebanon in Mexico. He will also serve as the Apostolic visitor for the Maronites of Central American and Venezuela.
His Holiness Pope John Paul II announced the Synod on June 12, 1991. After four years of intense work, preparation and prayers, the Pope convoked the Synod on Lebanon to meet at the Vatican from November 25 through December 14. The theme for the Synod was "Christ in our hope, renewed in his spirit, in solidarity we bear witness to His love." Pope John Paul II presided over the solemn concelebration of the Eucharist and officially opened the special assembly for Lebanon of the Synod of Bishops. During his address to the Synod on Lebanon, His Beatitude, Patriarch Nassrallah Cardinal Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch for the Maronites concluded his address with the following:
"With the intercession of Our Lady of Lebanon, the blessing of Your Holiness, the illumined contribution of Their Eminencies the Cardinals, convened to participate in this Special Assembly for Lebanon, together with all the members of the Synod, the auditors, and the experts here present and with the prayers of all the Church united with those of our faithful in Lebanon and of the Diaspora, we want to firmly believe that the works of the Synod will be crowned by success and that Lebanon will be safeguarded with all her characteristics in order to regain her true role in the concert of nations."

1996 A.D. On November 23, 1996 Chor-Bishop Hector Y. Doueihi was named Bishop-Elect of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, New York.

1997. A.D. on January 11, the consecration of Estephan Hector Y. Doueihi takes place at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa Lebanon. His Beatitude, Nasrallah Cardinal Sfeir, patriarch of Antioch and all the East presided. On February 5, Bishop Doueihi was enthroned at Our lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. He is the second Eparch for the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, New York