Lebanese Armenians march with flags and signs on the …


Saint Maron the Anchorite and His Tradition in Russia

By Dr. Andrius Valevicius, Université de Sherbrooke and 
Dr. Guita Hourani, Maronite Research Institute (MARI) New Fresco of Saint Maron at the Church of Saint Maron Moscow (Hourani Private Collection) I.

 Introduction This article is based on a brochure translated by Dr. Andrius Valevicius, a Professor of Theology at the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada. Dr. Guita Hourani obtained the brochure, during her research expedition in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in the fall of 2001. Dr. Hourani, then Chairperson of the Maronite Research Institute (MARI) and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Maronite Studies (JMS), was on a research trip to Russia to study both the history of the Church of Saint Maron in Moscow and the Russian Orthodox icons of the saint. These icons were produced in the the Monastery of Valaam, on the Island of Lake Ladoga, located across the Russian city of Saint Petersburg.St Maron church in Russia

“Saint Maron the anchorite lived in the 4th – 5th centuries on a mountain situated in the region of Apamea in the Byzantine province of Syria Secunda. According to the Historia Religiosa of Theodoret of Cyrrhus (died ca. 458), he lived in the open air, near a pagan temple which he had converted into a church. His life was one of penance and prayer. He took refuge at times under a tent made of skins, in order to avoid bad weather. Not being busy enough with the usual day’s chores, St. Maron began to acquire the riches of philosophy.
Saint Maron soon became known throughout the entire region. Besides the austerity of his life and the gift of miracles that he had, he had the gift of healing which made him a great celebrity during his lifetime. Crowds invaded his solitude. One could see, wrote Theodoret, the redness of fever disappear as he sprinkled someone with his blessing. Shaking would stop and demons would flee, all of this by just one remedy. Doctors use various remedies according to the nature of the illness, but the prayers of St. Maron were one remedy suitable to all afflictions.
Saint Maron not only healed sick bodies, but he also took care of the soul. He would heal one person from excessive desires and another from anger. In other words, he had the gift of ‘anger management.’ The first one would receive lessons in chastity and the second lessons in justice.

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