Every 9 February is a national holiday and church feast day in Lebanon to honour Saint Maroun. Saint Maroun is the founder of the Maronites that first grew up in and around the Lebanese city of Cyr.
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There are many traditions about Saint Maroun, and an ancient history by Theodoret provides much information on him. He was a Christian ascetic, or “monk,” who lived in the late 4th and early 5th Centuries A.D. He is thought to have not only been a spiritual leader in the local area but also to have performed miracles of healing.
Many believe that the famous Orthodox preacher John Crysostom studied with Saint Maroun in Antioch and addressed a letter to him while he lived the life of hermit in Cyr. While this may be so, Maroun adhered to the Roman Catholic faith, not East Orthodox, spread that faith throughout Lebanon as a missionary, and founded the Maronite Catholic Church. He is now the patron saint of Lebanon.
Most government agencies and private businesses close on Saint Maroun’s Day in Lebanon. Local churches hold special lunches with traditional Lebanese cuisine in his honour. Some may visit the famous Monastery of Saint Maron on this day.