Maximos III Mazlūm

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Catholic Melchite patriarch; b. Michael Mazlūm, Aleppo, Syria, November 1779; d. Alexandria, Egypt, Aug. 11, 1855. His ecclesiastical education was influenced by the Gallican ideas of his Catholic Melchite bishop, Germanos Adam. After his ordination in 1806, he acted as secretary of the Council of Karkafe. Elected metropolitan of Aleppo (1810), he took the name of Maximos. This election was contested by the Propaganda (1811); he was declared irregular (1813), but later (1815) made titular bishop of Myra. During his enforced residence in Rome, he obtained from the Austrian and French governments the protection of the persecuted Catholic Melchites in Syria and founded a Melchite church in Marseilles, France. Befriended by Gregory XVI, Maximos returned to Syria in 1831. On April 4, 1833, he was elected patriarch. Previous to the confirmation of this election by Rome (1836), he called the Council of 'Ain-Trāz (1835), which became the only Melchite council approved in forma generali (1841). During his term of office he visited his entire patriarchate, preaching and founding churches. He is known especially for settling the dispute (1847) about the ecclesiastical headdress (kalemavkion ) and for securing the complete autonomy of the Melchites under the civil leadership of their patriarch in the Ottoman Empire (1848). Gregory XVI granted him, on a personal basis, the title of patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. In addition to his pastoral work, Maximos composed or translated into Arabic many works of theology, hagiography, and ascetics. Maximos's last years were less successful, when he met with opposition from Rome and some of his bishops. To many historians his life seems controversial, but to his people it was full of glorious accomplishments.

Bibliography: c. karalevskij (charon), Histoire des Patriarcats Melkites, 3 v. in 2 (Rome 190910); Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastique 3:653655. j. hajjar, Un Lutteur infatigable: Le Patriarche Maximos III Mazloum (Harissa 1958). g. graf, Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur 5:107. e. hammerschmidt, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 7:210211.

[j. jadaa]