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Catholic Dictionary




The nation and church of most Arabic-speaking Syrians living in Lebanon. The name is also given to one of the Churches in communion with Rome whose members are scattered through Syria, Palestine, Cyprus, Egypt, and the United States. The name is probably derived from St. Maron (d. 443), a Syrian hermit who remained faithful to the Catholic faith during the Monothelite heresy. From the time of the Fifth Lateran Council the Maronite communion with Rome has been uninterrupted. They use the Rite of St. James in ancient Aramaic in their liturgy.