The Maronite Cross.

[“Culture générale on the menu today ;)]

It is a fact that 90% of the Maronites happen not to know what a Maronite cross looks like.

I went to quite a few Christian stores everywhere on the Lebanese soil (including Harissa) asking for a Maronite cross and all I was shown there were “regular” crosses (Roman, Byzantine, etc.).

Then I decided to give it a shot with specialized jewelers.

Bingo, but no cross less than USD 350.

I eventually managed to get hold of a really good silver Maronite cross at a very affordable price from… the United States.

Picture this: I had to go that far to buy something coming from somewhere where you can’t actually find that thing you are supposed to find (does that sentence make any sense?).

Anyhow.

This is what a Maronite cross looks like:

Does the shape look familiar?

Have a good Sunday.

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5 Responses to The Maronite Cross.

  1. Rémy says:

    Would you be kind enough to enlighten your readership on the meaning of the additional branches? Cordialement ! ;D

    • a.s. says:

      Sure, Rémy. Everyone know the shape of the “regular” Christian cross. However, there are several other types of crosses, such as the Patriarchal cross (sometimes also called Cross of Lorraine): it has a smaller crossbar above the main one (where the “INRI” appeared). It sometimes has another crossbar at foot level; this crosspiece is slanted in the Byzantine and Orthodox variations of the cross.

      The Maronite cross has TWO crossbars above the main one, i.e. one more than the Patriarchal cross. The second crossbar is smaller than the first crossbar, in order to look like a Cedar tree.

      The point of the Maronite cross is to symbolize at once the cross and the cedar, the Christian faith and the territory of election.

  2. Dr. Wolfe says:

    The Maronite cross hasn’t really been in use with the Maronites since at least the 1930’s or so, I think. The reason being that the Roman Catholic Church, which the Maronites have been loyal to since the Crusades, is influencing the Maronite Orders greatly nowadays. The Lebanese Civil War and other factors haven’t been helpful either. What was once a great nation of educated and disciplined Christians (82% of the population as of the first and only census of the 1920’s), became a severely chaotic and forgetful place. Traditions were lost, and skills once possessed where completely forgotten. Some examples follow:

    The Lebanese Rocket Program (Which was well funded, and successful until the war, now nothing more than a memory of Lebanese desire to reach space. The Americans and Soviets even sent observers)
    The Lebanese Motor Industries (Mainly buses and assembly, now just a bunch of 60 year old school buses acrost the nation which still run very well.)
    The Lebanese Aviation Industries (Which showed the best potential in the region before wars, in fact Lebanese fighter pilots were considered the best in the Levant before Israel was founded. Lebanese pilots are still renowned for exceptional skill today, at least I hear from some sources.)
    Lebanese printing (The Lebanese, specifically Maronite Monks, were the first to own presses in the Levant. Their tradition carried on well until the 60’s, however the books of yore are mostly lost or in old libraries.)

    Had Lebanon not entered the Civil War, by simply not attempting to honour their alliances in the 50’s and their borders in the 60’s then Lebanon would still be a first world country. They once possessed the potential to be the greatest in the region, a highly educated society that was actually disciplined! War and allegiance, however, tore them to pieces.

    America actually at one time considered them a potential ally to Israel if you can believe that! The reason was that the Christians in Lebanon were in power and the Army was founded by Christians, there was also a large Jewish population in Lebanon at that time as well and the Muslims were tolerant and noble in that area.

    Lebanon, such great potential lost to mindless honour and allegiance.

  3. mike says:

    That is not a Maronite Cross. The true Maronite Cross is a cross within a circle.

  4. Dr. Antoine says:

    Actually this is one of many Maronite crosses. I’m a Maronite by the way, I promise you this is true. We have adopted various crosses throughout history, the one you mention is the Rabulla Cross, which is actually newer than the cross you see above. The cross above is the Antiochene Cross, which is what Maronites used to use before the war with the Turks and Druze. The oldest symbol used by the Maronites was actually the Labarum, which is a “X-P” symbol.

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