Maro of Beit-Marun, Abbot
Also known as Maron
Feastday: February 14
Death: 410 OR 435
Saint Maro was a hermit on a mountain in Syria near the Orontes River, where he had a little hut covered with sheep skins to shelter him from the weather, but lived in a spirit of mortification in the open air most of the time. When he found a pagan temple nearby, he dedicated it to God and made it his oratory. In 405 Maro was ordained to the priesthood.
St. Maro chose a solitary abode not far from the city of Cyrrhus in Syria, and there in a spirit of mortification, he lived mainly in the open air. He had indeed a little hut covered with goatskins to shelter him in case of need, but he very seldom made use of it. Finding the ruins of the heathen temple, he dedicated it to the true God, and made it his house of prayer. St. John Chrysostom, who had a great regard for him, wrote to him from Cucusus, the place of his banishment, and, recommending himself to his prayers, begged to hear from him as often as possible. Maro was a disciple of St. Zebinus. He drew great crowds by his spiritual wisdom. He trained many hermits and monks and founded three monasteries. It is believed the Maronites take their name from Bait-Marun monastery near the source of the Orantes river, where a church was erected over his tomb.
Saint John Chrysostom had a singular regard for Maro. During one of his banishments, John wrote from Cucusus and commended himself to Maro's prayers and begged to hear from him at every opportunity Chrysostom's epistle 36.
Under the direction of Saint Zebinus, Maro learned to pray without ceasing. Zebinus surpassed all the solitaries of his time in his assiduity to prayer to which he devoted whole days and nights
without any weariness or fatigue. His ardor for prayer seemed to increase, rather than slacken with time. Zebinus gave advice to those who sought it in as few words as possible in order to spend
more time in heavenly contemplation.
Maro imitated Zebinus's constancy in prayer, yet he not only received all visitors with great tenderness but also encourage them to stay with him. Few, however, were willing to pass the night
standing in prayer. God rewarded Maro's charity and constancy with abundant graces including the gift of healing. He prescribed admirable remedies against all vices, which drew crowds to him.
So great were the number of people drawn to God by Maro's words and
Upon Maro's death, a pious contest ensued among the neighboring provinces about his burial. A spacious church was built over his tomb adjoining the monastery of Saint Maro in the diocese of Apamea between Apamea and Emesa /Homs. The people in Lebanon and Syria called Maronites A rite united to the Universal Church are said to derive their name from this monastery, Bait-Marun, and look on
Saint Maro as their patriarch and patron saint .