Maronites in America – Continuing the Legacy


Address Given by Chorbishop Seely Beggiani, S.T.D., to the Joint Clergy Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, June 30, 2015. The following first appeared in the Maronite Voice September 2015 issue.

Chorbishop Seely BegginaiThe Maronites in the United States during the past 135 years have not only survived but have grown and prospered. Beginning especially in the 1880s, Maronites emigrated in large numbers from Lebanon and Syria to many parts of the world. There were various reasons for leaving. While religious issues may have been a factor, the principal causes were a lack of economic opportunities and lack of living space. Significant numbers settled in North and South America, Australia and parts of Africa. But it was only in the United States that numerous parishes were established. This may be due to the fact that the United States was already becoming a very prosperous country with advanced means of transportation and communication. However, we should also recognize the strong faith, efforts and generosity of the Maronite clergy and laity of the early decades.

The first part of this presentation will chronicle and analyze the major events of the Maronite experience in the United States. The second part will be devoted to continuing this legacy. Continue reading

Balai of Qenneshrin – On Simon Seeing God’s Mercy


“Let me go in peace” said Simon, “for my eyes have seen your Mercy as You had said.” (See Lk 2:22-35) ܫܪܺܝܢܝ ܒܰܫܠܳܡܳܐ . ܐܶܡܰܪ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܫܶܡܥܘܽܢ . ܕܗܳܐ ܚ̈ܙܰܝ ܥܰܝ̈ܢܰܝ . ܚܢܳܢܳܟ ܐܰܝܟ ܕܶܐܡܰܪܬ ܀
Mary carried [Jesus] as an offering to the One who receives all to bring offerings to the Holy Temple according to the law. ܛܥܰܢܬܶܗ ܡܰܪܝܰܡ ܐܰܝܟ ܩܘܽܪܒܳܢܳܐ ܠܰܡܩܰܒܶܠ ܟܽܠ . ܕܰܐܝܟ ܢܳܡܘܽܣܳܐ ܬܰܝܬܶܐ ܕܶܒ̈ܚܶܐ ܠܗܰܝܟܰܠ ܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ ܀
On this day, Simon was petitioning the life-giving Son, “Let me go, so then I should go rest until the resurrection.” ܒܗܳܢܳܐ ܝܰܘܡܳܐ ܡܦܺܝܣ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܫܶܡܥܘܽܢ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܚܰܝܳܐ . ܕܰܫܪܺܝܢܝ ܡܶܟܺܝܠ ܐܶܙܰܠ ܐܶܬܬܢܺܝܚ ܥܰܕ ܢܘܽܚܳܡܳܐ ܀
[Simon] saw the girl who was carrying [Jesus], folded his hands [in prayers], bowed himself in fear and received Him from her affectionately. ܚܙܳܗ݀ ܠܰܛܠܺܝܬܳܐ ܕܰܛܥܺܝܢܳܐ ܠܶܗ ܘܰܦܟܰܪ ܐܺܝ̈ܕܰܘܗ̱ܝ . ܣܓܶܕ ܒܰܪܬܺܝܬܳܐ ܘܩܰܒܠܶܗ ܡܶܢܳܗ݀ ܚܒܺܝܒܳܐܺܝܬ ܀
Glory be to the Father, who bound Simon symbolically, and adoration to the Son, who unbound his restraints by His birth. ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܰܐܣܪܶܗ ܠܫܶܡܥܘܽܢ ܪܐܙܳܐܢܳܐܺܝܬ . ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܰܫܪܳܐ ܐܶܣܪ̈ܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܒܺܝܠܺܝܕܘܽܬܶܗ ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – On Jesus Consoling the Bereaved Woman


The widow was weeping over the bed of her only son and screaming, “With you, son, I shall go down into the grave.” However, when she reached the grave, she despaired. Suddenly, our Lord appeared and raised up her son. (See Lk 7:11-17) ܒܳܟܝܳܐ ܗ̱ܝ ܐܰܪܡܰܠܬܳܐ . ܠܥܰܪܣܳܐ ܕܺܝܚܺܝܕܳܗ݀ . ܘܩܳܥܝܳܐ ܕܥܰܡܳܟ ܒܶܪܝ . ܐܶܚܘܽܬ ܠܓܰܘ ܩܰܒܪܳܐ . ܘܡܳܐ ܕܰܡܛܳܬ ܠܩܰܒܪܳܐ . ܦܶܣܩܰܬ ܠܳܗ݀ ܣܰܒܪܳܐ . ܡܶܢܫܶܝܠ ܕܢܰܚ ܡܳܪܰܢ . ܘܰܐܚܺܝ ܠܺܝܚܺܝܕܳܗ݀ .
The Lord of the earth walked on the earth and uprooted its thorns. Consequently, the fruits of glory instead of tares began to sprout. ܗܰܠܶܟ ܒܰܐܪܥܳܐ ܡܳܪܳܗ݀ ܕܰܐܪܥܳܐ ܘܥܰܩܰܪ ܟܘܽܒܶܝ̈ܗ݀ . ܘܫܰܪܺܝܘ ܫܳܘܚܺܝܢ ܦܺܐܪ̈ܶܐ ܕܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܚܠܳܦ ܙܺܝ̈ܙܳܢܶܐ ܀
What would the mother of [the deceased] have heard her neighbors [say] except, “Woe is you! Woe is you henceforth for your bulwark had fallen! ܐܶܡܶܗ ܕܗܳܢܳܐ ܠܡܘܽܢ ܫܳܡܥܳܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܬ ܡܶܢ ܚܰܒܪ̈ܳܬܳܗ݀ . ܐܶܠܳܐ ܕܘܳܝ ܠܶܟܝ ܘܳܝ ܠܶܟܝ ܡܶܟܺܝܠ ܕܰܢܦܰܠ ܫܘܽܪܶܟܝ ܀
Sun that [lacuna] Who eclipsed you and extinguished your light? Behold! Death’s shadows encompass you from all sides. ܫܶܡܫܳܐ ܕ… ܡܰܢܘܽ ܚܰܦܝܳܟ ܘܰܐܕܥܶܟ ܢܘܽܗܪܳܟ . ܘܗܳܐ ܛܶܠ̈ܳܠܶܐ ܕܡܰܘܬܳܐ ܚܰܕܪܘܽܟ ܡܶܢ ܟܽܠ ܓܰܒܺܝ̈ܢ ܀
Behold! You were anxious to prepare a wedding feast, but death [suddenly] came and brought to nought your plans.” ܗܳܐ ܠܡܰܫܬܘܽܬܳܐ ܝܰܨܺܝܦܳܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܬ ܠܰܡܬܰܩܳܢܘܽ . ܘܶܐܬܳܐ ܡܰܘܬܳܐ ܘܒܰܛܶܠ ܐܶܢܶܝ̈ܢ ܠܰܥܒܺܝ̈ܕܳܬܳܟ ܀
Our Lord, who governs all, noticed this lamentation and desired to solace the bereaved woman, who was tormented. ܠܗܳܢܳܐ ܐܶܒܠܳܐ ܚܢܳܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܡܳܪܰܢ ܕܟܘܽܠܳܐ ܡܰܕܒܰܪ . ܘܰܨܒܳܐ ܕܢܰܪܘܰܚ ܠܰܡܓܰܙܰܝܬܳܐ ܕܰܐܠܺܝܨܳܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܬ ܀
I adore [You], Lord, for You made hope abound when there is no hope. Behold! You enriched the bereaved woman with Your gift. ܣܳܓܶܕ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܡܳܪܝ ܕܰܐܣܓܺܝܬ ܣܰܒܪܳܐ ܥܰܕ ܠܳܐ ܣܰܒܪܳܐ . ܘܗܳܐ ܐܰܥܬܰܪܬܳܗ݀ ܠܰܡܓܰܙܰܝܬܳܐ ܡܶܢ ܡܰܘܗܰܒܬܳܟ ܀
Glory be to You, Lord, who hastily went after death and rescued from it the soul that it had seized from its place. ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܡܳܪܝ ܕܪܗܶܛ ܗܰܠܶܟ ܒܳܬܰܪ ܡܰܘܬܳܐ . ܘܰܐܥܕܺܝܬ ܡܶܢܶܗ ܢܰܦܫܳܐ ܕܚܰܛܦܳܗ݀ ܡܶܢ ܐܰܦܢܺܝܬܳܗ݀ ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – On a Martyr by the Name of Theodore


When Theodore came before the judge, the king began talking to him furiously,

ܟܰܕ ܕܶܝܢ ܥܰܠ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܬܶܐܳܕܳܘܪܳܘܣ ܩܕܳܡ ܕܰܝܳܢܳܐ . ܫܰܪܺܝ ܡܰܠܟܳܐ ܢܡܰܠܶܠ ܥܰܡܶܗ ܚܰܡܬܳܢܳܐܺܝܬ ܀

“He too took fire and torched the images that were there. Consequently, the temples, images, wooden [idols] and their graven images went up in flames!”

ܫܩܰܠ ܬܘܽܒ ܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܘܰܐܘܩܶܕ ܨܰܠܡ̈ܶܐ ܕܺܐܝܬ ܗܘܰܘ ܬܰܡܳܢ . ܘܺܝܩܶܕܘ ܒ̈ܳܬܶܐ ܘܨܰܠܡ̈ܶܐ ܘܩܰܝ̈ܣܶܐ ܘܰܓܠܺܝ̈ܦܰܝܗܘܽܢ ܀

The martyr responded to the [heathen] king, “If you would throw me into the fire, I have Christ, who would deliver me.”

ܗܘܽ ܕܶܝܢ ܣܳܗܕܳܐ ܦܰܢܺܝ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܠܶܗ ܠܡܰܠܟܳܐ [ܚܰܢܦܳܐ] . ܕܬܰܪܡܺܝܢܝ ܒܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܐܺܝܬ ܠܺܝ ܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ ܕܰܡܦܰܨܶܐ ܠܺܝ ܀

Glory be to the Father, who chose the martyr to become an offering, and adoration to the Son, who was well pleased by the offering of the spotless lamb.

ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܰܓܒܳܐ ܠܣܳܗܕܳܐ ܕܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܕܶܒܚܳܐ . ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܶܐܨܛܒܺܝ ܒܕܶܒܚܶܗ ܕܶܐܡܪܳܐ ܕܰܟܝܳܐ ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – On Jesus Sending Thomas to India


May the commemoration of [Saint] Thomas be blessings [to us] and his prayer a bulwark to our souls. ܕܘܽܟܪܳܢܶܗ ܕܬܐܘܽܡܰܐ. ܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܠܒܘܽܪ̈ܟܳܬܳܐ. ܘܰܨܠܘܽܬܶܗ ܬܶܗܘܶܐ. ܫܘܽܪܳܐ ܠܢܰܦ̈ܫܳܬܰܢ܀
The Apostle Thomas was sent to the land of India, and Christ, his Shepherd, comforted him as a human being, ܠܰܐܬܪܳܐ ܕܗܶܢܕܘܽ ܐܶܫܬܰܕܰܪ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܬܐܘܽܡܰܐ ܫܠܺܝܚܳܐ. ܘܰܐܝ̱ܟ ܒܰܪ ܓܶܢܣܳܐ ܡܒܰܝܰܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܠܶܗ ܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ ܪܳܥܝܶܗ܀
“I exalted that one [i.e., Joseph] after he interpreted the dream to the king [i.e., Pharaoh] (see Gn 41). However, I will exalt you, chosen one, after your death.” ܠܗܰܘ ܐܰܘܪܶܒܬܶܗ ܒܳܬܰܪ ܕܦܰܫܰܪ ܚܳܠܡܳܐ ܠܡܰܠܟܳܐ. ܠܳܟ ܕܶܝܢ ܓܰܒܝܳܐ ܡܰܘܪܶܒ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܒܳܬܰܪ ܡܰܘܬܳܟ܀
He also said to him, “What is it with you, Thomas? Why are you sad? [Is it] because you would not succeed [in fulfilling] your promises although they are true?” ܬܘܽܒ ܐܶܡܰܪ ܠܶܗ ܕܡܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܬܐܘܽܡܰܐ ܘܡܘܽܢ ܟܰܪܝܳܐ ܠܳܟ.ܕܰܠܫ̈ܘܽܕܳܝܰܝܟ ܠܳܐ ܟܳܫܰܪ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܟܰܕ ܫܰܪܺܝܪܺܝܢ܀
Glory be to the Father, who chose the feeble one to proclaim the Gospel, and adoration to the Son [lacuna] by the touch of His hands and side. (Jn 20, 27) ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܰܓܒܳܐ ܠܫܰܦܠܳܐ[?] ܕܢܰܟܪܶܙ ܣܒܰܪܬܳܐ. ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ … ܒܓܶܫܬܳܐ ܕܺܐܝ̈ܕܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܘܣܶܛܪܶܗ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – Be Compassionate to Others


My brothers, do not be deprived of mercy like the rich man who did not have pity on another human being. ܐܰܚܰܝ̈ ܠܳܐ ܬܶܗܘܘܽܢ.ܓܠܺܝ̈ܙܶܐ ܡܶܢ ܪ̈ܰܚܡܶܐ. ܐܰܝ̱ܟ ܗܰܘ ܥܰܬܝܪܳܐ. ܕܠܳܐ ܚܰܢ ܠܒܰܪ ܒܶܣܪܶܗ܀
The poor man had been lying at this [rich man’s] door. Since he did not have pity on [the poor man], [the rich man] inherited Gehenna. (See Lk 16:19-31) ܡܶܣܟܺܢܳܐ ܪܳܡܶܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ. ܥܰܠ ܬܰܪܥܶܗ ܕܗܳܢܳܐ. ܘܥܰܠ ܕܠܳܐ ܚܰܢܶܗ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ. ܝܺܪܶܬ ܓܺܝܗܰܢܳܐ܀

Balai of Qenneshrin – Jesus Calming of the Storm at Sea


The Son of the Supreme Being, Whom the types of every seer [prophet?] depicted, slept on a boat and completed the types of Jonah the master. ܒܪܳܐ ܕܺܐܝܬܘܽܬܳܐ ܕܨܳܪܘ ܗ̱ܘܰܘ ܛܘܽܦ̈ܣܶܐ ܕܟܽܠ ܚ̈ܰܙܳܝܶܐ. ܕܡܶܟ ܒܰܣܦܺܝܢ̱ܬܳܐ ܘܚܰܬܶܡ ܛܘܽܦ̈ܣܶܐ ܕܪܰܒܳܐ ܝܰܘܢܳܢ܀
The disciples approached to wake up the One Who does not sleep, “Our Master, our Master, wake up, help us, for, behold, we are perishing!” (See Mt 8:23-27; Mk 4:35-41; Lk 8:22-25) ܩܪܶܒܘ ܬܰܠܡܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ ܕܰܢܥܺܝܪܘܽܢܳܝܗ̱ܝ ܠܗܰܘ ܕܠܳܐ ܕܡܳܟܳܐ. ܪܰܒܰܢ ܪܰܒܰܢ ܩܘܽܡ ܥܰܕܰܪܰܝܢ ܕܗܳܐ ܐܳܒܕܺܝܢܰܢ܀
The men in the boat witnessed a miracle and began to say, “Who is this One Whom sea and wind obey?“ ܚܙܰܘ ܬܶܕܡܘܽܪܬܳܐ ܐ̱ܢ̈ܳܫܳܐ ܕܒܶܐܠܦܳܐ ܘܫܰܪܺܝܘ ܐܳܡܪܺܝܢ. ܕܡܰܢܘܽ ܗܳܢܳܐ ܕܝܰܡܳܐ ܘܪܘܽܚܳܐ ܡܶܫܬܰܡܥܺܝܢ ܠܶܗ܀
Glory be to the Father, Who sent His Son to earthly beings, and adoration to the Son, Who, as a human being, slept on a boat. ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܫܰܕܰܪ ܠܰܒܪܶܗ ܨܶܝܕ ܬܰܚ̈ܬܳܝܶܐ. ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܰܐܝ̱ܟ ܒܰܪܢܳܫܳܐ ܕܡܶܟ ܒܰܣܦܺܝܢ̱ܬܳܐ܀