Yuḥanon Maron Yuḥanon d-Marun (fl. ca. 685 – ca. 707)
Saint and first patr. of the Syriac Maron. Church of Antioch. Maronite sources situate the election of Yuḥanon and the formation of the patriarchate against the backdrop of the Christological controversies as they related to the see of Antioch. Following the death in 609 of Anastasius II, the last Chalcedonian patriarch to reside in Antioch, titular Chalcedonian patriarchs of Antioch were appointed by Constantinople, a situation which continued until 702. Thereafter, the see remained vacant until 742 when Caliph Hishām allowed the election of Sṭephanos III to take place. During the period of vacancy filled by Sṭephanos, Syriac-speaking Chalcedonians were without a local hierarchy. It was to remedy this situation that the monks of the Monastery of St. Maron elected one of their own as Chalcedonian patriarch of Antioch who took the name ‘Yuḥanon of Maron’.
Maronites refute arguments raised against the historicity of Yuḥanon and the legitimacy of the patriarchate. They cite Rome’s rejection of the election of Macedonius as patr. of Constantinople in 649 as evidence of the fact that, had Yuḥanon’s election been viewed as illegitimate, Rome would have rejected it as well. The question of the legitimacy of Yuḥanon’s election, as well as the charge of Maronite complicity in the monothelete heresy, were further propagated by William of Tyre (d. 1186), who depended exclusively on manipulated passages in the Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (Saʿīd b. Baṭrīq) as his source of information on the Maronites. In the years following the Muslim Arab conquest of Syria, the region that came to be identified as Dār al-Islām (‘the House of Islam’) was effectively cut off from Constantinople and the West. In support of their perpetual orthodoxy, Maronites cite the consistent recognition of their patriarchate by Rome and their disavowal of monotheletism once they learned of its condemnation at the Council of Constantinople in 680. Maronite sources indicate that Yuḥanon and his successors were canonically constituted and held the title ‘of Antioch’.
Several ecclesiastical works are attributed to Yuḥanon Maron, including an Anaphora, or eucharistic prayer, which bears his name, and a treatise (mimro) on the priesthood. The feast of Yuḥanon Maron is celebrated in the Catholic Church on 2 March .
- M. Breydy, Jean Maron. Exposé de la foi et autres opuscules (CSCO 497–8; 1988). (Syr. with FT)
- P. Dib, Histoire de l’Église maronite (1962).
- Estefan al-Douaihy, Chronology of the Maronite Patriarchs (1902).
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Joseph P. Amar , “Yuḥanon Maron,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Yuhanon-Maron.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Amar, Joseph P. “Yuḥanon Maron.” In Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Yuhanon-Maron.
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