|Contributed by Christopher Lee Waddell
St. Maron is the spiritual founder of the Maronite Rite. His Feast Day is celebrated on February 9th, which is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Maronite Rite. He lived from the fourth to the fifth century outdoors near a pagan temple that he converted into a church. St. Maron was a hermit who dedicated his life to penance and prayer, showing intense devotion to this way of life. Sometimes, but rarely, he prayed under a tent made of skins to avoid bad weather.
Throughout the entire countryside, he was known as a great person with the gift of miracles. Many men and women sought his prayers and help. At times, this invaded his place of solitude.
Disciples who had united around Maron formed the first nucleus of the Maronite Church. They founded a monastery dedicated to his memory known as the Monastery of Saint Maron. This monastery gave its name to the Maronite people. The name, Maronite, was given to the monks as well as to the faithful people who put themselves under St. Maron’s direction.
In every Maronite Liturgy celebration, the congregation remembers St. Maron, his faith, and direction.