A Rich and Proud History since 1918
A GRAND HISTORY....
The Maronite Church is an eastern branch of the Catholic Church. It has its own liturgy, canon law, and patriarch. The Maronites take their name from the Hermit and Priest Maron who lived near the Orontes River in the fourth century. It is believed that he died around the year 410. The first Maronites were the direct descendants of the people who received the Catholic faith from the apostles. Their culture was influenced by their predecessors, the Phoenicians. Because of the heavy persecution against the Maronites, they were forced to flee into the mountain of North Lebanon in order to save guard their faith from the persecutors. Led by the first Maronite patriarch, St. John Maron, they sought refuge in the inaccessible mountains of Lebanon.
The Maronite liturgy is one of the oldest of the Catholic Church and it is based on the liturgy of St. James the Less, first bishop of Jerusalem. Our liturgical language is Syriac, the sister of the Aramaic language which Jesus spoke.
The Maronite Church, like its other sisters in the Catholic faith, enjoys its own music, art, tradition, and liturgical architect which gives it a uniqueness within the one Holy and Apostolic Church. The Maronite Church has its own head, the Maronite Patriarch, who resides in Lebanon, who is a member of the College of Cardinals in Rome. He has liturgical and spiritual power or authority over all the Maronites worldwide.
Today the Maronite Church spreads over the five continents with many diocese and Eparchies in Lebanon, Syria, Cypress, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Australia. The Maronites have two parishes in the Twin Cities: The Church of the Holy Family on 1960 Lexington Ave S in Mendota Heights and the Parish of St. Maron of Minneapolis.
A Chronological History Of The Holy Family Church in Saint Paul:
In the Beginning
The opportunity to immigrate to America and other parts of the world attracted many of the Lebanese Maronites. Only a small group settled in the city of St. Paul.
Old Saint Michael’s Church
The early settlers were blessed with the privilege of attending the Church of St. Michael. The pastor permitted the Maronites to celebrate the Maronite Liturgy at the old St. Michael’s Church on the West Side. This arrangement continued for a period of approximately 15 years.
Holy Family Church, 1918
During the year 1918, the small group of settlers were authorized to purchase a Protestant Church for the sum of $2,250.00. It was remodeled, somewhat, and converted to the Church of the Holy Family. Overtime the church became dilapidated.
Holy Family Church, 1951 – 2009
Ground was broken for a new church at 203 East Robie Street in 1950. The Holy Family Church building is reminiscent of the simply detailed early Romanesque churches of Syria and Lebanon, the ancestral homeland of its parishioners. The walls of brick, trimmed with Mankato stone are surmounted by a low pitched roof of red Spanish tile. The Church of the Holy Family was dedicated on Sunday, January 28, 1951. A new Rectory was later built in 1958.
Holy Family Church, 2009 – present
In July of 2009 we moved to our new location in Mendota Heights, where we worship today.
The parish continues to grow under the guidance and providence of God.
May God who has given our community the privilege of inheriting this rich tradition allow us to preserve it and nourish it through our commitment and dedication toward its cause. May the faith of our Father St. Maron which has been passed on to us through our forefathers, and which has been written through the blood of the thousands of martyrs, be ours, that we may always be lights to the world and salt to all the earth.
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