St Maron’s Day
St. Maron’s Day is a holiday observed annually in Lebanon on the 9th of February. This feast day is an important holiday for Maronite Christians in Lebanon—a religious subgroup that constitutes almost a quarter of the country’s population.
Saint Maron was a Syrian Christian hermit monk who lived in the Taurus Mountains. His followers would later establish the Syriac Maronite Church, which gave rise to the modern religious movement known as the Maronites.
The History of St. Maron’s Day
Very little is known about St. Maron’s birthplace or his early childhood. It is believed that he was born in what is now Syria sometime during the middle of the 4th century.
He was a priest who would become a monk and then a hermit, living in the Taurus Mountains near Antioch. His miracles attracted followers from across the ancient world. His counsel was a beacon not only to his followers but also to many Christians in the area.
Sometime around 423, Maron died, and riots broke out because Christians all wanted to inter his remains in their village. The Maronite Church, founded after his death, would celebrate his feast on January 5th, but this was later changed to February 9th during the 17th century. It has been celebrated on this day ever since.
Observing St. Maron’s Day
In Lebanon, St. Maron’s Day is observed with the Maronite Liturgy—a religious service that blends Catholicism with Arabic music and singing in a combination of Syrian and Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. Some people also fast on this day or perform works of charity. This feast day for St. Maron is treated with the utmost reverence.