Maro of Cyr, St.

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Syrian monk and spiritual father of the Maronites; b. near Apamea on the Orontes River, Syria, date unknown; d. there, before 423. He lived an ascetical life of penance and prayer on a mountaintop. His miraculous gifts and extraordinary spiritual knowledge attracted many disciples who became holy hermits, such as SS. James of Cyr, Limnaeus, Thalassius, and Zebinas (Theodoret, History of the Monks, Patrologia Graeca 82:1431, 1451, 1458). The whole development of monasticism at Cyr derives from Maro. Whatever position later Maronite authors held in the dispute over monothelitism, Maro, a friend of St. john chrysostom, had always supported orthodoxy (Patrologia Graeca 52:630). Possession of his relics was contested after his death. A church was built on his tomb, and the monastery of St. Maro, which became the center of the Maronites, was later founded there. Maro's cult was approved by benedict xiv in 1753.

Feast: Feb. 14.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Feb. 2:767768. f. nau, "Opuscules Maronites," Revue de l'Orient chrétien 4 (1899) 175266, 318353. h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq, and h. i. marrou, 15 v. (Paris 190753) 10.2:2188. p. dib, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 10.1:12. f. a. al-bustĀnĪ, Mār Mārūn (s.l. 1965). p. naaman, Théodoret de Cyr le monastère de Saint Maroun (Sin el-Fil, Lebanon 1971).

[j. van paassen]