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Patriarch And Patriarchate

The Maronite Patriarchs

History of the Maronites

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The Maronites


The First Maronite Patriarch : Yuhanna Maroun el Sroumi ( 685 - 707 )


The Maronite Patriarchs since

Boulos Tawaghan (661-665)
Yuhanna Maron 2 (787-807)

Korius relative of Yuhanna Maron


Yuhanna el Damlassi


Gregorius from Halate


Marcus from Antioque


Yuhanna from Homs



Joshua from al Sham

Dimitus from Beirut

Youssef from Jbeil

Gerges from Batroun

Ethenasius from Akka

Gregorius from Ehden

Marcus from Tyr

Clemensus from Antioque

Mikhael from Toula-Batroun

Boulos from Kfarsaroun-Jobbet

Simeon from el Sham

Zakharia from Ban

Samuel el Razzi from Bkoufa

Yuhanna from A'aktanit

Daniel from Tripoli

Boutros from Smar Jbeil

Moussa from KfarZayna

Boulos from Hayfa

Youssef from Chadra

Maroun from Bikfaya

Ibrahim from Nassira

Hezkial from Darb el Sim

Antoun from Lehfed

Elias from Hakel

Andrews from Beirut

Kirellus from Cyprus

Ethenasius from Tyr

Yuwakim from Kodss

Elias from Batroun

Luca from Raskifa

Mikhael from Beirut

Yuhanna from Homs

Simeon from Kobayat

Ermia from Yafa

Zakaria from Kodss

Yuhanna from Hakel

Simeon from Antioque

Achi'ya from Bejje

Daoud from Akkar

Gregorius from Arqa

Elias from Tal Seb'el

Semaan from Arjess


The Maronite Patriarchs since 1110

Youssef EL GERGESS (1110-1120) 
Pierre (1121-1130) 
Grégoire from Halate (1130-1141) 
Jacob from Ramate (1141-1151) 
Jean (1151-1154) 
Pierre (1154-1173) 
Pierre from Lehfed (1173-1199) 
Jérémie from Amchite (1199-1230) 
Daniel from Chamate (1230-1239) 
Jean from Jaje (1239-1245) 
Siméon from Kobayat (1245-1277) 
Daniel from Hadchite (1278-1282) 
Jérémie from Dmalsa (1282-1297) 
Siméon from Blaouza (1297-1339) 
Yuhanna from Akoura (1339-1357) 
Gabriel from Hjoula (1357-1367) 
Jean (1367-1404)

Jean from Jaje (1440-1445) 

Yacoub from Hadath (1445-1468) 
Joseph from Hadath (1468-1492) 
Siméon from Hadath (1492-1524) 
Moussa AKKARI from Baridi (1524-1567) 
Michel RIZZI from Bkoufa (1567-1581) 
Sarkis RIZZI from Bkoufa (1581-1596) 
Joseph RIZZI from Bkoufa (1596-1608) 
Jean MAKHLOUF from Ehden (1608-1633)

Georges OMAIRA from Ehden (1633-1644) 
Joseph HALIB from Akoura (1644-1648) 
Jean BAWAB from Safra (1648-1656) 
Georges RIZKALLAH from Bseb’el (1656-1670) 
Etienne DOUAIHI from Ehden (1670-1704) 
Gabriel from Blaouza (1704-1705) 
Yaccob from Hasroun (1705-1733) 
Joseph Dergham KHAZEN from Ghosta (1733-1742)

Siméon AWAD from Hasroun (1743-1756) 
Tobia EL KHAZEN from Békaat' Kanaan(1756-1766) 
Joseph ETIENNE from Ghosta (1766-1793) 

Michel FADEL from Beyrouth (1793-1795) 
Philippe GEMAYEL from Bikfaya (1795-1796) 
Youssef TAYAN from Beyrouth (1796-1808) 
Yuhanna el HELOU from Ghosta (1808-1823) 
Youssef HOBEISH from Sahel Alma (1823– 1845) 
Youssef El KHAZEN from Ajaltoun(1845–1854) 
Boulos MASSAAD from Achkout (1854– 1890) 
Yuhanna EL HAJJ from Dlebta (1890– 1898) 
Elias HOWAYEK from Helta (1898– 1931) 
Antoun ARIDA from Bécharré (1931– 1955) 
Boulos MEOUCHI from Jezzine (1955– 1975) 
Antoine KHREICH from Ain Ebl (1975– 1986) 
Nasrallah SFEIR from Raifoun (1986)

Youssef Tayan


Patriarch Youssif Tyan was born in Beirut and belonged to a prominent Maronite family, who sent him to Rome at an early age where he was educated in the Maronite College and ordained priest in 1784. In the year 1786 he was consecrated bishop of Damascus, and in 1788 he became Patriarchal Vicar. April 28th 1796 he became Patriarch Youssif Tyan. When in 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte besieged Akka, being now Patriarch he asked the Prince of Lebanon Bashir II to rally to Napoleon with his Lebanese soldiers. Bachir did not respond, but Patriarch Tyan urged the Maronites to volunteer for the French forces. The Patriarch also sent ammunition and supplies to the French army.  But despite this help Napoleon failed to capture Akka.  The Patriarch decided to abdicate and sent a letter to the Roman See to this effect on 3rd October 1807. On  June 8th 1809, Bishop Yuhanna El-Helou succeeded him. Patriarch Tyan then retired in the hermitage of Saint Ephrem in Dar'un, Kesrawan. A few years later he moved to a newly established Seminary college of St. John Marun in Kefar-Hay Batrun, where he taught theology.   
Patriarch Tyan lived and died in the odour of sanctity. After his retirement from the Patriarchate, he practically lived a hermit's existence, dedicating himself to prayer, meditation, asceticism and the contemplative life.  
He died on February 20th, 1820 at the Patriarchal Seat of Qannubeen. His body was found to be still incorrupt a hundred years after his death.


Yuhanna EL - HELOU (1809-1823)

Patriarch Yuhanna El-Helou's achievements were by no means inconsiderable. He repaired and restored the Patriarchal See of Qannubeen that had been abandoned by the Patriarchs for a hundred years. Patriarch El-Helou inhabited Qannubeen from 1811. He regained much of the church's property that had been taken away injustly.   

He converted the Monastery of St. John Marun in Kefar-Hay Batrun and that of Rumieh Qolay'at in Kesrawan into Patriarchal Colleges and seminaries in 1812 and 1817 respectively.   

In 1818, he convoked the Maronite general Council of Luayzeh.  
He died on the 12th of May 1823, and was buried at Qannuneen.

Youssef HOBEISH (1823-1845)

 Patriarch Hobeish insisted upon the application of the Code of the Lebanese Council in 1736, Especially as regards to the religious instruction and preaching, and the encouragement of seminaries for the education of the clergy. He founded two new seminaries, those of Mar 'Abdas Herheraya and St. Serge of Rayfun.  In these two seminaries and in those of Kefar-Hay Rumieh, and 'Ayn-Warqa he made the teaching of Syriac, Arabic, Italian, Latin, philosophy, theology and physical sciences obligatory. In 1840, he founded a religious congregation of missionaries for the purpose of teaching religion in the villages and towns.  

Patriarch Hobeish was a true apostle. He use to visit the parishes of his Patriarchate, instructing the priests in their functions and obligations, teaching them theology, settling local quarrels and reuniting families. In the turbulent years of the Egyptian invasion between 1831 and 1840, Lebanon became the arena of international conflicts involving France, Britain, Turkey, Austria, Prussia and other powers. In the midst of the turmoil, Patriarch Hobeish succeeded in unifying both the Maronite community and the Lebanese multiconfessional population.   

Patriarch Hobeish moved the patriarchal residence from Qannubeen valley to Dimane. While Yusif Hobeish was Patriarch, Lebanon was divided into two administrative districts (Qaim-maqamat); one Maronite and one Druze. Amir Haydar Abi-Lama was chosen by the Patriarch to be the governor of the Maronite district.   

Patriarch Hobeish died on the 23rd of May 1845, and was buried in the church of Qannubeen.

Youssef Al-Khazen (1845-1854)

Patriarch Yusif Raji Al-Khazen was elected at Dayr Mayfuq, on the 8th of August 1845. In 1845 the Turkish army ignoring the autonomy of Mount Lebanon, invaded the Mountain, to disarm the population.  In Northern Lebanon the Maronites, particularly those of 'Aqura, Tannureen, Besharry and Ehden, opposed the Turks with the army of several thousand under the leadership of Hosn al-Khazen and Abu-Samra Ghanem. The Maronites had nothing to face the Turkish artillery, Patriarch al-Khazen intervened and persuaded the Turks to call a halt to the war and to agree to a settlement negotiated between the Patriarch and the Turkish government with indemnities paid by the latter.  A new code of regulations called "code of Shakeeb Afandy" was drawn up for Lebanon.  
After his death he was buried at Deeman, the new Patriarchal Residence in the Qadeesha Valley, on 3rd November 1854, he was succeeded by Patriarch Bulos Mass'ad.

Boulos MASSAAD (1854-1890)

 In the first few years of the Patriarchate of Bulos Mass'ad (1857-1859), the people of Kesrawan revolted against the al-Khazen family, whose members had been strengthening Christianity in Kesrawan since the time of Kakhr-al-Din. The darkest period of the Maronite Nation, occurred during the Patriarchate of Bulos Mass'ad, with the civil war between Maronites and Druzes, in the 1860. The Patriarch could not effectively bring peace and unity during this period. Patriarch Mass'ad died on April 18th 1890, at Bkerke and was buried in St Peter's school, in Ashqut, his native village.

Yuhanna Al-Hajj



 In the first years of his Patriarchate, Patriarch Yuhanna al-Haj built the beautiful patriarchal residence of Bkerke, acquired extensive property at Moghayre Jebayl for the benefit of a Maronite seminary. During the Patriarchate of Yuhanna El-Haj, archbishop Elias Hoyek (the future Patriarch) acquired a building in Jerusalem to serve as residence for the representative of the Maronite comminute in the holy city. The Maronite population in Palestine and Lebanon contributed the necessary money. Archbishop Hoyek also acquired a building in Rome in which the new Maronite College of Rome was installed in 1893.   
Patriarch El-Haj died on December 24th 1898, and was buried in Bkerke. He was succeeded by one of our greatest and most spiritually minded Patriarchs, Monsignor Elias Hoyek.

Elias Howayek



Elias Hoyek was born at the village of Helta, Batrun, in December 1843. He did his primary and elementary studies in the Seminary College of St. John Maron, in Kefar-Hay near Helta. He was admitted to the seminary of Ghazir, run by Jesuit, priests, in October 1859. There he studied French, Arabic, Syriac, Latin, Greek and Philosophy. 

In November 1866 he entered the College of Propaganda in Rome, where he studied theology. He was ordained priest in Rome in 1870 and returned to Lebanon. His father had died when he was in Rome. He spent sometime at home to take care of his mother and his young brothers. He spent two years teaching theology at the Seminary of St. John Maron. In 1872 he was appointed patriarchal secretary and moved to the patriarchal residence. Of great integrity and fearless character, he was revered and respected by all. He was consecrated Archbishop of Arqa and Patriarchal Vicar on December 14th, 1899. 

He left Lebanon on May 8, 1890 for Rome for the purpose of reviving the Maronite college there, destroyed by Napoleon in 1799. This task made great demands on all his qualities of initiative, courage, perseverance and diplomacy. He met Pope Leo XIII in the Vatican on June 15th, July23rd, August 2nd, and August 10th of the year 1890. During these visits the Pope and Archbishop Hoyek elaborated plans to reactivate the Maronite College in Rome.  
On August 12th 1890, archbishop Hoyek left Rome for France, bearing a letter of recommendation from Pope Leo XIII, in order to collect contributions for the college. He spent nine months in France (August 24th, 1890- May 24th, 1891), where he visited the minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of the Republic, the speaker of the Parliament, the speaker of the Senate, the Minister of Defense and many Cardinals and archbishops. He travelled all over France, spending his energy day and night for the realization of his project. He acquired in Paris a church and a community center for the Maronite Community in the street " rue d’Ulm".  Furthermore, he obtained from the French government subsidies for the education of eight Maronite students at the seminary of St. Sulpice in Paris. He visited Poitiers, Lille, Grenoble, Limoges, Rouen, and other cities, preaching in churches, mobilizing friends, and persuading various societies and institutions to help his undertaking. Finally he returned to Rome with the necessary money. From Rome he went back to Lebanon via Austria, where he met Emperor Francois-Joseph, and Istanbul, where he met the Sultan, the Prime Minister and many prominent figures. With the Sultan and the Turkish government he succeeded in settling many problems concerning Lebanon and the Maronite community. He showed an apostolic fervour and a readiness to face the highest authorities in Europe and Turkey.  
He combined diplomacy with zeal, integrity and practical sense. He landed at Beirut on May 13, 1892. He left Lebanon again on April 28, 1893, for Rome via Jerusalem and Alexandria. He met the Pope on June 8, and July 9, 1893. He spent two months searching for a suitable site for the future new Maronite college. Finally he bought the building at 18, Via Porta Pinciana, on August 17, 1893.  

The new college was opened on January 1st, 1894, to receive twelve students from the Maronite dioceses of Besharry, Aleppo, Tripoli, Gebayl-Batrun, Ehden, Ba’albeck, Damascus, Cyprus, Beirut, Tyre and Sidon. Thus were rewarded years of gigantic efforts and sacrifices.  
The founding of the congregation of the Holy Family: Great as was the triumph of Monsignor Hoyek in completing the new Maronite college in Rome, his activity did not stop in reaching this goal. He was always launching new undertakings. He was not one to be satisfied with the exterior pomp of his office and with preaching & presiding ceremonies. Inspired by the examples of the apostles Peter and Paul he led a life of self denial for the building of the kingdom of Christ. Once the Maronite churches and community centers in Paris and Jerusalem, and the Maronite college in Rome, successfully completed, he engaged in a yet another major project, that of the creation of a new religious order for nuns, the Congregation of the Holy Family with the help of  mother Rosali Nasr who first joined the French Congregation of the sisters of Nazareth, and then founded the Congregation of the Holy Rosary. She met Monsignor Hoyek in Lebanon in the summer of 1895 and they decided together to found a congregation of nuns for the Christian education of village girls in Mount Lebanon. The nucleus of the new congregation consisted of Mother Nasr and two other nuns, Estephany Kardush and Orsella Lahud. The new congregation was launched at Jebayl-Byblos in that same summer of 1895. In 1896 the motherhouse moved to ’Ebrine near Batrun.  
During his episcopate Mgr. Hoyek was animated by two main desires the solid Christian education of the young Maronites for the strengthening of the family, and the education of priests. The first ambition was embodied in the creation of the congregation of the Holy Family and the second in the revival of the Maronite college in Rome and in the support given to many clerical institutions.  
Hoyek undertook a third journey to Rome to inspect the running of the Maronite College. He remained in Rome from April 1897 to January 1899. Within ten years then, Hoyek undertook three journeys from Lebanon to Rome and back in order to found and administer the Maronite College, at a time when travelling between Lebanon and Rome was an exhausting ordeal. To get the necessary support, he visited Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Istanbul, Palestine, Egypt and other countries of the Orient and Occident.  
Such was his devotion and self-denial as apostle of Christ, and his Holy Church. The Episcopal and patriarchal honor spurred him to act with greater zeal rather than to rest on his laurels.  


Hoyek Patriarch 
Patriarch Yuhanna el-Haj died on December 24th, 1898; Mgr. Hoyek left Rome for Lebanon on December 27th, and reached Bkerke in January 5th, 1899. On January 6th, he was elected Patriarch. Thus started a new era for Lebanon and the Church.  
In his private life as Patriarch Mgr. Hoyek practiced both the ascetical and contemplative aspects of the spiritual life.  
Patriarch Hoyek’s apartment in Bkerke was simple and austere, consisting of three rooms, one serving as a bedroom and office, the second as a reception room, and the third as a chapel. In this chapel he used to say Mass early in the morning and to spend many hours every day in prayer and meditation. He fasts every Saturday his whole life through, even in time of illness. His favorite books for meditation were the New Testament, the confessions of St. Augustine, the eternal Maxims and the Imitation of Christ. He strictly followed his routine of spiritual exercises, whenever and wherever he was, and he was an example to all in the way he carried out his duties as pastor, priest patriarch and national leader.  

Patriarch Hoyek was born and raised in Helta- Kefar-Hay Batrun in the vicinity of the headquarters of the first Maronite Patriarch, Saint John Maron whom Patriarch Hoyek resembled with his strong and energetic character, his ardent apostolic zeal, his intellectual power, his solid evangelical virtues and his wise leadership.  
His strength and sympathy were reflected in his keen gaze and leonine face. 
The Maronite Patriarch is the successor of the chief of the Apostle, Saint Peter, as head of the church of Antioch, including historically and canonically the entire Roman province of the Orient. To his own name, the Maronite Patriarch adds that of St. Peter, to signify that he is the successor of St. Peter, the first Apostle, founder and first Bishop of Antioch. 

Thus the complete name of Patriarch Hoyek is "Elias (personal name) Butros (St. Peter) Hoyek, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East". 
In fact, his zeal for the Kingdom of Christ made Patriarch Hoyek a worthy success of St. Peter. He was an active pastor, visiting his patriarchal diocese regularly, promoting its spiritual life and progress and providing for its needs, examining the situation of the priests, churches, monasteries and convents, giving encouragement and helping the sick, the orphans and the poor. He organized regular yearly spiritual exercises for every parish of the Patriarchal diocese. He encouraged such western institutes as the Jesuit order, the Brothers of the Christian schools, the Marist Brothers, the Lazarists and others to open new schools in his diocese.  
Among the churches that he helped build by generous financial contributions, let us mention those of the Cedars, Belaouza, Douma, Shatine, Tannurine, Mejdel ’Aqura, Ram, Batrun, Bejjeh, Kefar-Seghab, ’Aqura, Qartaba, Ehmej, Abdelly, Qenat, Bar-Halyun, Mughr-el-Ahwal, Torza, Caïfa, Hasbaya, Khartum in the Sudan and Larnaka, Famagosta and Nicosia in Cyprus.  
One of his greatest achievements was the erection in cooperation with the apostolic Delegate, of the church, statue and center of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa, in 1906-1908, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the declaration by the Holy see of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception Mary Mother of Christ. The statue of the Blessed Virgin erected on the hill of Harissa, is one of the most striking statues in the world, erected on the top of one of the most beautiful hills. 
Patriarch Hoyek showed special solicitude for the seminaries for clerical education, such as Deir-al-Koraym, ’Ain- Warqa, Mar’Abda Her-Haraya, Rayfun, Qolai’at, St. John Maron, and the Roman College. The monastic foundations too received an important share of his attention.  
The Maronite College in Rome remained the object of his unflagging concern and he succeeded in doubling the number of its students. The building of the college, consisting of three floors and thirty rooms was completed in 1903 and it was inaugurated on February 7th, 1904.  


HOYEK and the diasporia  
Plans were made for the creation in Egypt of a Patriarchal Vicariate to care for the spiritual, social and material welfare of the Maronites in Egypt and for the expansion of Maronite missionary activities. Archbishop Hoyek drew up these plans when he visited Egypt in 1894-1895. But the plans were realized when he was Patriarch in 1904.  

In 1902, Patriarch Hoyek delegated the Rev. Shikralla Khury and Rev. Butros Shebly to visit the Maronites of Cyprus. They visited the Maronites of Limassol, Larnaca, Nicosia, Kurmagit, Karpacia, Gamblin, Merkin, Asomathos, Aya Marina, Mar-Romanos (Qono), Mar Antonios (Kefryat), Varucia, Mersine, Adana and Tarsus. During their visit, the Patriarchal delegates spent a considerable amount of money in helping needy Maronites and their institutions in the island. They presented the Patriarch with an exhaustive written report about the situation of the Maronites in Cyprus from the spiritual, social and material standpoints.  

In 1920, Patriarch Hoyek sent a delegation to visit the Maronites in the United States of America, in Argentina and in other parts of the New World.  
Following this visit, Patriarch Hoyek took the necessary steps to create independent dioceses for the Maronites of North and South America.  

Patriarch Hoyek in Rome.
The Patriarch left Bkerke for Rome on May 20th, l905, going via Jaffa in Palestine, where he blessed the foundation stone of the building of Saint Anthony’s Maronite church. In Alexandria of Egypt he exchanged visits with the Orthodox Coptic Patriarch. He reached Rome on June 9th, and resided at his beloved Maronite College. His audiences with Pope Pius X took place on June 15th and July 11th. He spent the summer with the students of the Maronite College. While in Rome Patriarch Hoyek reviewed and settled the financial situation of the Maronite College and dealt with administrative matters.  
In both finance and administration, he obtained relative independence for the college, strengthening its links with the Maronite hierarchy and its Maronite liturgy and traditions. A Maronite priest was appointed as rector instead of a Latin one. Another Maronite priest, Fr. Elias Shedid, was appointed as financial administrator.  

Patriarch Hoyek in Paris.  
He left Rome on September 18th, 1905, for Paris, which he reached two days later. In Paris he exchanged visits with the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Richard, the President of the Republic, Mr Lobe, and the prime minister Mr. Rouvier. They dealt with matters concerning Lebanon, the Maronites and the Orient. 
Patriarch Hoyek in Istanbul.  
Patriarch Hoyek left Paris for Istanbul and passed through Munich, Vienna and Budapest. He reached the Ottoman Capital on October 17th, and remained there from October 17th to November 2nd, 1905. In dealing with the Sultan and Turkish authorities he was assisted by two prominent Maronites, Selim Pasha Malhame and his brother Nagib.  
Selim was the minister of agriculture in the Turkish government, and was highly esteemed and favored by the Sultan and the government. The Patriarch had an audience with Sultan on October 20th, and 31st. He succeeded in obtaining from the Sultan and the Turkish authorities many improvements in the handling of Lebanese affairs and in the administration of the country.  
It was imperative in these days for the Patriarch and the Maronites to maintain a certain wise balance in their relations between France on one hand and those with Turkey on the other. Turkey was the ruling power in Lebanon, while France provided protection and help. Thus it was necessary while maintaining friendly relations with France not to excite Turkish suspicion, jealousy or anger. Patriarch Hoyek with his wisdom was providential for Lebanon in such circumstances.  


The first world war was an opportunity for the Turks to venge themselves without restraint on the Christians: A million and half of Armenians were killed by the Turks in the first years of the war, for no other reason than their Christian religion and superior education and ability in the sciences, arts, industry, commerce and other fields of the civilization; but Lebanon had its share of Turkish cruelty during the war.  
Turkey entered the war on October 28th, 1914 on the side of Germany; on the same date, the Constitutions of 1860-1864 guaranteeing Lebanon’s autonomy were abolished by the Turkish government, and on November 28th, 1914, the Turkish army entered Mount Lebanon, mistreated the Lebanese people and expelled them from their homes, exposing them to exceptionally severe winter weather. Houses were occupied by Turkish soldiers. 
Because of the Turkish blockade, a third of the Lebanese population died of famine and starvation. Very many people, were sent into exile or killed because they were suspected by the Turks, often with no justification, of relations with France and the allied nations. Jamal Pasha was appointed military governor of Lebanon. He attempted to exile Patriarch Hoyek, but failed in his attempt:  
On July 13th, 1915, Jamal Pasha requested the Patriarch to meet with him in Sawfar. The Patriarch was then at the residence of Dimane, one hundred and fifty kilometers away; at that time the Patriarch was seventy years old and there were no automobiles in Lebanon; thus the journey was long and exhausting; but the Patriarch complied with the desire of the military governor, in order to avoid any vindictive measures on the part of Jamal Pasha against the Lebanese people.  
The meeting between the Patriarch and the Pasha took place at Sawfar on July 21st, 1915. The Turkish governor criticized the Patriarch’s friendship withFrance. The Patriarch replied that France was the Maronites benefactor and that it was natural and fitting that they should be grateful to her and maintains consistent good and friendly relations with her. Furthermore France had been the friend of Turkey since Francois I (1494-1547).  
Jamal Pasha repaid the visit on July 31st, 1915.  
In the second half of 1915, the stocks of food and vital necessities were exhausted in Mount Lebanon and exceptionally large swarms of locusts consumed the crops. This in addition to the blockade deprived the population of every means of subsistence.  
The Patriarch spent all the money that belonged to him personally and to the Patriarchal treasury helping and feeding the poor. The patriarchal residence was thronged day and night with huge crowds coming to eat and take food from the Patriarchal provisions for themselves and their families. The situation remained unaltered until the beginning of 1919. The Patriarch got some financial help from the Lebanese emigrants and the French government sent through the commander of the French army on the island of Arwad, General Trabot. A courageous priest, Father Boulos ’Aql (later made Bishop) took it upon himself to serve as a courier between the French army in Arwad and the Patriarch. His was a most periculous task in those days, because he was suspected of spying by the Turkish authorities; and the journey between the island and the coast was within the reach of Turkish guns. Jamal Pasha and Patriarch Hoyek.  
Jamal Pasha directed a second invitation to Patriarch Hoyek to meet him in Beirut in May 1916 and the patriarch complied with the governor’s request.  
The Turkish governor to the Patriarch addressed A third invitation, this time for a meeting at Behamdoun in July 1917. Further, Jamal Pasha asked the Patriarch to stay for some time in Behamdoun. The Patriarch accepted. A few days later, the Pasha requested the Patriarch to leave Behamdoun for Sawfar. The patriarch accepted once again, and stayed at Sawfar from July 25th to August 14th, 1917.  
The Pasha again addressed a letter to the Patriarch, requesting him to leave Sawfar and to join him at Zahle in the Beka’. It is clear that the intention of Jamal Pasha was to induce the Patriarch to move gradually from one place to another in the direction of Damascus or some other city out of Lebanon and to keep him in exile there. The Patriarch, when he received Jamal’s invitation to join him in Zahle, presented excuses on account of his health, and proposed placing himself at the disposal of the governor at the Residence of the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus in Qornet Shehwan. The governor accepted and released the Patriarch after the intervention of the Vatican and the Emperor of Austria.  
Jamal Pasha was dismissed from his office of governor of Lebanon, Syria and the Arabian countries at the beginning of 1918.  
The famine continued during 1917 and 1918, causing the death of many thousands of Lebanese. The patriarch sent priests to distribute food and money throughout the patriarchal vicariates and other regions of Lebanon, to alleviate the misery of his people.  


In the afternoon of September 29th, 1918, a terrific earthquake that caused extensive damage and claimed many victims shook Lebanon. At the same time the British army entered Damascus and the Turkish and German forces fled from Lebanon and Syria.  
Thus ended four hundred and two years of Turkish cruel oppression in Lebanon, and the triumph of the allies marked the dawn of a new era for Lebanon and the whole of mankind.  
A temporary governing body was appointed for Lebanon by the allied British and French occupation Forces, the advice of the Patriarch being always respected.  


The Patriarch at the Peace Congress in Versailles (1919):  
The Lebanese people delegated patriarch Hoyek to express Lebanese aspirations and defend Lebanon’s interests before the Peace Congress in Versailles, and before the French government. The main danger to Lebanon came from King Faisal son of the Hashmit Sherif of Mecca, who was attempting to create an Arab kingdom including in one state: Lebanon, Syria, Irak, Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. The Lebanese people saw its independance threatened and opposed the project of Faisal in so far as Lebanon was concerned.  
Lebanon was now free from the Muslim Ottoman Empire and had no desire to become part of another Muslim Empire, an Arab one. Arab and Ottoman empires were in practice forms of one and the same thing, the Muslim Empire ruled by harsh, rigid and discriminatory Islamic laws.  
In the face of this threat the Administrative Council of Lebanon representing all Lebanese communities formulated Lebanese aspirations as follows:  

  • The extension of the frontiers of Lebanon to include the cities of Beirut, Tyre, Sidon, Tripoli and the districts of ’Akkar, Beqa’, and Southern Lebanon. These cities and districts were natural parts of Lebanon and had been unjustly separated from it by Turkey. 

  • The recognition of Lebanon’s full independence and of its natural rights to exercising self determination and choosing a suitable form of government. 

  • The institution of a Parliament to represent the different communities. 

  • The assistance of France in consolidating Lebanon’s independence. Patriarch Hoyek was delegated by the representatives of the Lebanese communities to obtain from France and the Peace Congress of Versailles the recognition of Lebanon’s independence from Faisal’s Arab Kingdom and from any other Arab state, and their assistance in achieving Lebanon’s independence according to the four principles stated. 

Patriarch Hoyek left Lebanon for France and met President Clemenceau on October 5th, 1919; on October 27th he presented the assembly of Peace Congress with a memorandum in fifteen pages demonstrating the right of Lebanon to independence and its ability to exercise national sovereignty. The claims of the Patriarch were recognized and approved by Clemenceau in an official document issued and delivered to the Patriarch on November 10th ,1919. 


Finally the efforts of Patriarch Hoyek were crowned with success when General Gouraud, in the name of France, proclaimed on September 1st, 1920, an independent Lebanon including the entire territory bounded by Ras-al-Naqurah in the South, by Nahr-el-Kabir in the North, by the summits of Anti-Lebanon in the East and by the Mediterranean in the West.  
In brief, Patriarch Hoyek, a man of strong and courageous personality, deep spirituality and original mind, exerted a real personal influence on the events of his time. Unlike some prelates, he was not a passive observer of events but sought to influence their course.  
Patriarch Hoyek was well aware of the cynicism engendered among the faithful by religious leaders who repeat pious platitudes and expressions of personal grief before tragic events and remain helpless and inactive. He dealt vigorously with the problems of his people in times of disaster, instead of wringing his hands, referring to the example of Christ who cured the sick and did not merely express pity.  
When sections of the Maronite community were torn by dissension, he was always able to reconcile protagonists. When Lebanon was in danger of being absorbed by King Faisal and the united Arab kingdom, Patriarch Hoyek obtained unanimity first among the Maronites themselves and then between the Maronites and the other Lebanese communities. Strengthened by this united stand, he persuaded France and other nations at the Peace Congress of Versailles to favor the Lebanese cause. With the military defeat of Faisal by Gouraud at Maysalun near Damascus, the independence of Lebanon was materialized.  
With Fakhr-ad-Din II the Great, Bashir II the Great and Yusif Bey Karam, Patriarch Hoyek must be considered one of the four founders of independent Lebanon. He left this world on December 24th, 1931, not possessing any money, but owing the Rev. Boulos To’me the sum of three pounds. His house in his native town Helta Batrun, is compared by visitors to the Grotto of Bethlehem, on account of its poverty.

Antoun ARIDA



 He was known as Selim Ben Abdel Ahad ARIDA and was born in Becharre on August 2nd 1863. He studied the Arab and Syriac languages at a school in his region, and in 1879, at the school of St Jean-Maroun at Kfar-Hay where he spent 5 years.  
He was sent to St. Sulpice School in France where he spent 6 years (1884-1890) and continued his studies in Theology. He was ordained priest by Bishop Mostel, superior of Bishops of the Curia on September 28th, 1890. He returned to Lebanon where Patriarch Youhanna El Hajj appointed him his secretary, advocate of the marriage sacrament and examiner of priests. Pope Pie X elected him prelate of the church with the title of Mgr. on July 31st, 1905 before being elected Bishop of the diocese in Tripoli, which was consecrated by Patriarch Elias Howayek in Bkerke on June 18th 1908.  
The Assembly of Bishops convened at Bkerke to elect him as a successor on April 30th 1932 after the death Patriarch Elias Howayek.  He built a See at Dimane where a dignified church was erected with the assistance of his brother Rashid Arida.  
 He purchased a house in Marseille for the representative of the church and re-opened the seminary of St Maron in Ghazir. He founded and supervised another seminary in Ain-Warka and presented it to the Convent of Mar Abda - Harharaya. He opposed the Protocol of Alexandria on October 7th, 1944 and asked for its rectification, he sustained the Lebanese independence in 1943. At the age of 85 years, the Holy See appointed an apostolic committee to assist him, composed of the Bishops: Boulos Meouchi, Abdallah Khoury (which continued after his death) by Bishops Ghnatios Ziadé) and Boutros Dib.  His last words before his death on Holy Thursday May 19th, 1955 at Bkerke were "God protect Lebanon".




 Born in Jezzine on April 1st 1894, though his primary studies were attended at a school in his village, it followed with the school of the Mariamite sisters at Deir el Kamar, and finally at the college of La Sagesse. He traveled to Rome before the beginning of the First World War and continued his studies at a university. He was ordained priest on December 7th 1917. He traveled to the United States where he spent 14 years. In April 1934 he was elected Bishop for the region of Tyr and was ordained Bishop in December 1934.  
In June 1955, He was elected patriarch and participated in the Second Vatican Council where he defended with boldness the rights of Patriarchs to keep the belief in the Middle East who were facing storms and hurricanes.  
He was the first Maronite Cardinal.  
During his reign Father Charbel MAKHLOUF was declared Blessed.  He died on January 11th 1975 in Bkerke. 

Antoine KHREICH (1975 -1986)



 He was born in Ain - Ebel in the south of Lebanon in 1907. He had his primary studies at a school in the village and was sent to Rome to continue his philosophical and theological studies at the age of 13. He received his doctorate in philosophy at the age of 16 but due to an illness, returned to Lebanon, and continued his theological studies at the University of Saint Joseph in Beirut.  
Bishop Choukrallah Khoury ordained him priest at the Cathedral of Tyr on April 11th, 1930 where he began his priesthood life by teaching. He was appointed director of the Maronite seminary in Beirut La Sagesse. In 1936 Bishop Boulos MEOUCHI appointed him Vicariate General in Palestine and the President of the court of churches of that region. On 28th August 1950, Pope Pie XII designated him an honorary Bishop of Tarsous. Following this he became member of the commission of the Bishops of Vatican II, and member of the commission in charge of the statute of the clergy and the Christian people during the length of his council. At the end of the council, he became member of the Roman Curia for the suit of saints and remained there until his Patriarchate. In 1973, he became member of the new commission to revise the oriental cannon law and president of the legal commission of the APECL. Finally he became Patriarchal Curator and Assistant General to the patriarchal parish on 11th April 1974 with Bishop Nasrallah SFEIR. He was elected Patriarch on February 3rd, 1975. He was invested in his function as a Patriarch on Sunday 9th February, the day of the feast of St Maroun.  
He made official visits to Rome, Paris and the United States and attended the Synod of Bishops, which is held in Rome every three years.  
During his Patriarchate the blessed Charbel MAKHLOUF was declared Saint of the Universal church in an imposing ceremony at the Basilica St Pierre on 9th October 1977.  
During his Patriarchate sister Rafka, a Lebanese nun of Hamlaya, was also declared blessed at the Basilica St Pierre on 17th November 1985. He was the second Lebanese Patriarch to become Cardinal the on 2nd February 1983. During his patriarchal period, the first worldwide Maronite Convention was held in Mexico in 1979 and the second in New York in 1980.  
He submitted his resignation as Patriarch to the Holy Father on 17th November 1985 at the age of 78 years.  

English - Portuguese


His Beatitude Mar Nasrallah Boutros Cardinal Sfeir Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

His Beatitude  Mar Nasrallah Boutros Cardinal Sfeir

Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and all the East


He is the 3rd Maronite Cardinal and the 76th Patriarch of the Maronite Church.

Born in Rayfoun, Kesrouan, the 15 May 1920

Primary and Complementary studies at Mar Abda School - Harharaya.

Secondary studies at St. Maron Seminary - Ghazir.

Philosophical and Theological studies at St. Joseph University of Beirut (Licensed in Philosophy and Theology)


7 May 1950  Ordained Priest 
1951-1955  Priest of Rayfoun Parish. 
In charge of the secretariat of the Maronite Bishopric of Damascus. 
1956  Secretary of the Maronite Patriarchate - Bkerke. Professor of translation in literature and philosophy at the Freres Maronite School - Jounieh. 
19 June 1961  Titular bishop of Tarse and Patriarchal Vicar. 
3 July 1961  Confirmation of his election by His Holiness Pope John XXIII. 
16 July 1961  Ordained Bishop 
1961-1986  Patriarchal Vicar and Secretary of the Maronite Patriarchate. 
19 April 1986  Elected Maronite Patriarch for Antioch and all the East. 
7 May 1986  His Holiness Pope John Paul II entrusted him the "ecclesiastic communio" . 
26 November 1994  Created Cardinal by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. 
1995 Delegate President of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Lebanon.


Publications (in Arabic language)  
1. Of the sources of the Gospel, Bkerke, 1975,416p. 
2. Personalities that disappeared from 1961 - 1974 in 2 volumes, Bkerke, 1984 
3. Sunday Sermons: spiritual reflections and stand of national positions, many volumes, Bkerke, 1988....


Sua Beatitude Mar Nasrallah Boutros Cardinel Sfeir
Patriarca Maronita de Antíoquia e todo o Oriente

É o 3º Cardinal Maronita e o 76º Patriarca da Igreja Maronita
Nascido em Rayfoun, Kesrouan no Líbano em 15 de Maio de 1920
Completou seus estudos primários na escola Mar Abda em Harharaya e seus estudos secundários no Seminário St. Maron em Ghazir.
É licenciado em Filosofia e Teologia pela Universidade St. Joseph em Beirut

Em 7 de Maio de 1950 foi ordenado Padre.
De 1951 a 1955, serviu como Padre na Paróquia de Rayfoun e secretário na Arquidiocese de Damascus na Síria.
Em 1956 foi secretário do Patriarcado Maronita em Bkerke e Professor deTradução de Literatura e Filosofia no Colégio dos Irmãos Maronitas (Collége des Fréres) em Jounieh.
Em 19 Junho de 1961 foi indicado Bispo e Vigário Patriarcal
Em 3 Julho de 1961 foi confirmada sua eleição pela sua Santidade Papa João XXIII.
Em 16 Julho de 1961 foi ordenado Bispo.
De 1961 a 1986 foi vigário Patriarcal e secretário do Patriarca Maronita
Em 19 de Abril de 1986 foi eleito Patriarca de Antioquia e todo o Oriente.
Em 7 de Maio de 1986 lhe-foi confiado o "ecclesiastic communio"
Em 26 de Novembro de 1994, foi ordenado Cardinal pelo Papa João Paulo II
Em 1995 foi Presidente da Assembleía Especial no Sínodo dos Bispos para o Líbano.


Suas Publicações em Árabe:
1. Of the sources of the Gospel, Bkerke, 1975,416p.
2. Personalities that disappeared from 1961 - 1974 in 2 volumes, Bkerke, 1984
3. Sunday Sermons: spiritual reflections and stand of national positions, many volumes, Bkerke, 1988


السيرة الذاتية للبطريرك السابع والسبعين للكنيسة المارونية
مار بشارة بطرس الراعي
بطريرك انطاكية وسائر المشرق

التعريف الأساسي
الاسم : المطران بشاره الراعي، مطران ابرشية جبيل المارونية
الاب والام : يوسف وثمينه الراعي
مكان وتاريخ الولادة : حملايا - المتن (لبنان) في 25 شباط 1940
النذور الاحتفالية : في الرهبانية المارونية المريمية بتاريخ 31 تموز 1962
الرسامة الكهنوتية : 3 أيلول 1967
الرسامة الاسقفية : سيمَ نائباً بطريركياً عاماً في بكركي بتاريخ 12 تموز 1986


1957-1962 : الدروس التكميلية والثانوية في كلية سيدة الجمهور للآباء اليسوعيين.
1962-1975 : فلسفة ولاهوت (ليسانس) وحقوق كنسية ومدنية (دكتوراه) ومحاماة روتالية (3 سنوات) في روما (جامعة مار يوحنا اللاتران - محكمة الروتا الرومانية).

النشاطات والمهام في الرهبانية المارونية المريمية

1975-1981 : شغل منصب رئيس مدرسة سيدة اللويزه
1978-1984 : أسّس وتولّى إدارة "مركز اللوزة للتعليم العالي" - جامعة سيدة اللويزه.
1975-1984 : خادم لرعايا زوق مصبح (البلدة، نهر الكلب - المسيح الملك، أدونيس).
1977-1982 : قاض في المحكمة الابتدائية المارونية الموحدة.
1982-1986 : رئيس المحكمة البطريركية الاستئنافية.
1984-1986 : رئيس مدرسة القديسة ريتا ضبيه وكاهن رعيتي الصعود ومار جرجس - الضبيّه.

النشاطات والمهام في الحياة الاسقفية
1986 - 1990 : نائب بطريركي عام في بكركي
1990 : مطران أبرشية جبيل منذ سنة 1990، بعد فصلها عن الأبرشية البطريركية وجعلها أبرشية قائمة بذاتها.
1986 - 1992 : مشرف على المحاكم الروحية المارونية.
1986 - 1991 : مشرف على رابطة كاريتاس لبنان.
1992 - 1995 : عينه البابا يوحنا بولس الثاني منسّقًا لسينودس الاساقفة الروماني الخاص بلبنان.
1988 - 2000 : عينه الكرسي الرسولي رئيسًا للجنة تنسيق النشاطات الاجتماعية والراعوية والانمائية في كنيسة لبنان.
1988 - 1994 : عينه البابا يوحنا بولس الثاني عضوًا في المجلس البابوي " قلب واحد"
منذ 1992 : منتخب من قبل سينودس أساقفة الكنيسة المارونية لعضوية اللجنة القانونية ومحكمة السينودس.
منذ 1995 : عينه البابا يوحنا بولس الثاني عضوًا في المجلس البابوي لراعوية المهاجرين والمهجرين والسواح واللاجئين.
منذ 1997 : منتخب من قبل جمعية البطاركة والاساقفة في لبنان (APECL ) رئيساً للجنة الاسقفية لشؤون العائلة في لبنان.
1998-2003 : عضو في اللجنة البطريركية لتطبيق الارشاد الرسولي "رجاء جديد للبنان" (لخمس سنوات).
منذ 1998 : منتخب من قبل سينودس اساقفة الكنيسة المارونية عضواً في السينودس الدائم.
منذ 1999 : عيّنه البابا يوحنا بولس الثاني عضواً في مجلس رئاسة المجلي الحبري للعائلة.
1999 - 2001 : عيّنه الكاردينال سيلفستريني رئيس مجمع الكنائس الشرقية، عضواً في اللجنة العلمية للمؤتمر الدولي حول مجموعة قوانين الكنائس الشرقية (19-23 تشرين الثاني 2001).
منذ 2000 : عينه الكاردينال البطريرك مار نصراللّه بطرس صفير ممثلاً للكنيسة المارونية في اللجنة الأسقفية لخدمة المحبة.
2000 - 2006 : انتخبه السينودس الماروني عضواً في لجنة التنسيق والتخطيط بين السلطة الكنسية والرهبانيات المارونية.
منذ 2003 : منتخب من سينودس اساقفة الكنيسة المارونية امين السر للسينودس.
منذ 2004 : منتخب من سينودس الكنيسة المارونية مشرفاً على توزيع العدالة في محاكم الكنيسة المارونية ورئيس محكمة السينودس في الدعاوى القضائية للاساقفة والابرشيات.
منذ 2005 : عيّنه مجلس بطاركة الشرق الكاثوليك منسّقًا للجان الأسقفية للعائلة في بلدان الشرق الأوسط.
2009 : منتخب من قبل جمعية البطاركة والاساقفة في لبنان (APECL) رئيساً للجنة الاسقفية للاعلام الكاثوليكي في لبنان.
2010 : عيّنه البابا بندكتس السادس عشر عضوًا في المجلس الحبري لوسائل الاتصالات الاجتماعية.

1978-1987 : استاذ محاضر في مادة الحق القانوني في جامعة القديس يوسف (بيروت).
1992-2000 : استاذ محاضر في مادة الحق القانوني في كلية الحقوق (الكسليك).
منذ عام 2001 : استاذ محاضر في اللاهوت الراعوي وسرّ الزواج في كلية اللاهوت الحبرية (الكسليك).
منذ عام 2001 : استاذ محاضر في مادة الحق القانوني في جامعة الحكمة بيروت.

الرسائل الراعوية
1. "أنا معكم كاهن ولأجلكم أسقف"، إحتفال تولية المطران بشاره الراعي على أبرشية جبيل، الأحد 8 تموز 1990.
2. "أجهزة الأبرشية الادارية والاجتماعات والرعوية"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد1، 1990.
3. "مدخل إلى إعداد الجمعية الخاصة لسينودس الأساقفة من أجل لبنان"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد3، 1991.
4. "تجدّد وشهادة، على هدى المجمع الراعوي من أجل لبنان"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد4، 1992.
5. "أوقاف الرعايا في أبرشية جبيل، الوقف وغاياته - النظام الداخلي - دور العلمانيين"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد5، 1994.
6. "رجاء وتجدد وشهادة، دخول في مسيرة سينودس الأساقفة من أجل لبنان"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد6، 1995.
7. "تطبيق الشرع الخاص بالكنيسة المارونية في أبرشية جبيل"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد7، 1996.
8. "مواضيع لتحضير الزواج في أبرشية جبيل المارونية"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد8، 1998.
9. "المجمع الأبرشي، يسوع المسيح ينبوع النجدد والشركة في الكنيسة"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد9، حزيران 1999.
10. "سنة اليوبيل الكبير المقدسة وترتيبات لنيل الغفرانات"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد10، 2000.
11. "خدمة المحبة في الأوقاف والرعايا والأبرشية، توجيهات إدارية وراعوية"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد11، 2006.
12. "اللّه محبة، رسالة البابا بندكتوس السادس عشر، مواعظ الصوم"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد12، 1996.
13. "دليل الكاهن والرعية والعمل الرعوي"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد13، 2007.
14. "دليل الأسقف والدائرة والهيكليات"، سلسلة حضارة المحبة، عدد14، 2008.

مؤلفات مطبوعة
- سلسلة التنشئة المسيحية، الجزء الأول، 2005-2006 (منشورات جامعة سيدة اللويزة).
- سلسلة التنشئة المسيحية، الجزء الثاني، 2006-2007 (منشورات جامعة سيدة اللويزة).
- سلسلة التنشئة المسيحية، الجزء الثالث، 2007-2008(منشورات جامعة سيدة اللويزة).
- سلسلة التنشئة المسيحية، الجزء الرابع، 2008-2009(منشورات جامعة سيدة اللويزة).
- الزواج، تعليم وإجتهاد قضائي، 2007 (منشورات جامعة الحكمة).

1994 : وسام الاستحقاق الوطني رتبة كومندور من رئيس جمهورية إيطاليا.
2007 : وسام الأرز الوطني رتبة كومندور من رئيس جمهورية لبنان.


References: Bkerke Site, مختصر تاريخ جبل لبنان للشيخ انطونيوس العينطوريني

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