February 9 is Saint Maron’s Day in Lebanon. Saint Maron was a 4th century Syriac Christian monk and founder of the Syriac Maronite Church, which is in full communion with the Catholic Church as a sui juris or self-governing body.
Maron’s way of life was deeply monastic with emphasis on the spiritual and ascetic aspects of living. He lived in the open air next to a temple he had transformed into a church. He spent his time in prayer and meditation exposed to the forces of nature such as sun, rain, hail and snow. His holiness and miracles attracted many followers, and drew attention throughout the empire.
John Chrysotom wrote to him around AD 405 expressing his great love and respect, and asking Maron to pray for him. Maron and Chrysostom are believed to have studied together in the great Christian learning center at Antioch, which at the time was the third largest city in the Roman Empire.
Although reduced in numbers today, Maronites are one of the principal ethno-religious groups in Lebanon, with smaller groups of Maronites in Syria, Cyprus, Israel, and Jordan. There are over 3,198,600 Maronites world-wide.
Summarized from Wikipedia.
This Coat of Arms of the Maronite Patriarchate was created by Tom Lemmens and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share alike 3.0 Unported license.
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