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Congregation of the Lebanese Maronite Missionaries

The Congregation of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries (Arabic: جمعية المرسلين اللبنانيين الموارنة‎, also known as the Kreimists[1] or Krayme) was founded at the monastery of KreimGhosta (Mountain of Lebanon) in 1865 by Father Youhanna (John) Habib, Emeritus Archbishop of Nazareth later. An earlier community was founded there in 1840 but died out.[2]

Congregation of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries
Kreim Cross.jpg
AbbreviationKreimist, Kreim, Lebanese Missionaries, MLM, Apotres, CLM
MottoA mission's productivity is the fruit of a holy life
PredecessorFather Elie MADI, MLM
FormationMay 8, 1865; 154 years ago (1865-05-08)
FounderFather Youhanna Habib (Emeritus Archbishop later)
TypeReligious institute
HeadquartersMonastery of St. John the Beloved
Superior General
Very Rev. Malek Abou-Tanos, MLM (Superior General of the Congregation of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries)
Vicar General
Father Maroun Moubarak, MLM
Counselors General
Father Younen Obeid, MLM;

Father Fadi Tabet, MLM;

Father Ghassan Mattar
Parent organization
Maronite Patriarchate

The Congregation, as a Clerical Religious Congregation of patriarchal jurisdiction, enjoys special consideration from the Patriarch and Bishops.

The official title of the Congregation's leader is "Superior General of The Congregation of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries", he is generally addressed as Father General. As of 2013 the Superior General is the Very Reverend Father Malek Abou-Tanous, MLM, and he oversees 4 bishops, 96 priests, 20 seminarians, and 2 novices.


The Congregation of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries grew and according to the founders' notes "the people started coming to see the missionaries seeking assistance, counseling and listening to their talks and guidance. Then the priests went all over Lebanon preaching and hearing confessions... and the people loved them and respected their way". This Congregation takes part in all kinds of missionary work, because "We are in need of mission's project", as Father Stephan Kozah, one of the founders of the Congregation and its first Superior General, repeated many times. Archbishop Youhanna Habib's wish when he addressed the first members, constitutes a good summary of the Congregation's goals: "The best thing for me that I see you before my death spread as Jesus' disciples around the world and the east, proclaiming the Good News, tolerating the need, persecution, and death out of love for the One who shed His blood for us" (Hebrews 11:26). So, the Congregation of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries is a community working to announce the gospel anywhere, in the east or the west, without hesitation or delay.

Patron SaintsEdit

1. The Virgin Mary, Mother of Divine Grace

2. St. John: Apostle & Evangelist, Our Patron Saint (Feastday: September 26 / May 8)

Christ, dying on the cross, entrusted his virgin mother to St. John.

The Story and History of Saint John the EvangelistEdit

He was the son of Zebedee and thought to be a cousin of Jesus, by the sister of the Virgin Mary. John worked as a fisherman with his brother James, his father Zebedee and his partner Simon working on the shores of the sea of Galilee. John and his brother were followers of John the Baptist and then Jesus. John the Baptist referred to Jesus with the words "Behold the Lamb of God!" John left his life as a fisherman to follow Jesus. He followed Jesus as one of his disciples until Jesus was crucified. In the interval between the Resurrection and the Ascension John returned to his home at the Sea of Galilee with Peter. When Christ appeared on the shore John was the first to recognize him. John then went to work in Jerusalem and at Ephesus (modern day Turkey) preaching the ministry of Jesus and was responsible for the conversion of many people. He lived to an old age and died of natural causes in AD99 of natural causes.

How Saint John the Evangelist is represented in Christian Art

It is helpful to be able to recognize Saint John the Evangelist in paintings, stained glass windows, illuminated manuscripts, architecture and other forms of Christian art. Saint John the Evangelist is represented in Christian Art with a Sacramental cup with a winged serpent issuing from it. This is in allusion to the legend that when Aristodemus, the priest of Diana, challenged him to drink a cup of poison, St. John made the sign of the Cross upon it, and then drained its contents, which proved innocuous. As Evangelist, St. John is attended by an eagle, because, since that bird soars higher into the heavens than any other, so his soul, in virtue of its singular purity, mounted up to receive the light of Divine Wisdom.

Missionary locations and workEdit

The Congregation of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries exists today in Lebanon and around the world where the Maronites are present. Current mission locations include:


  • Monastery of the Holy Savior in Kreim – Ghosta, the Mother House.
  • Monastery of Our Lady of Deliverance, Mayrouba.
  • Monastery of St. John the Beloved, Jounieh.
  • Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon, administration and pastoral service since 1908.
  • Apostles College in Jounieh – School from Elementary to High School grades.
  • Maronite Orphanage and Cadmus College in Tyre – School from elementary to high school grades.
  • Major Seminary of St. John The Beloved.

In addition, there is an orphanage and school under construction in Edde, Batroun. There is a printing press used for the liturgical and religious publications among them those of the Patriarch and others. Amongst these is the publication of Al Manarat (The Lighthouse), which is a magazine discussing religious topics in depth. There is an associated radio station called "The Voice of Charity" which began broadcasting in 1984. There is a TV channel "TV Charity" founded in 2009 the channel based in Keserwan that serves as an apostolate of the Lebanese Maronite Missionaries. Main show topics include theology, bioethics, education, social issues, daily Church news and intercultural exchange. Charity TV also offers shows for entertainment, and special programs for children and teens. A particular tradition is that one of the Congregation fathers gives an annual retreat for the Patriarch and Bishops.


  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: The mission was established in 1901; it includes a parish, a school, a printing press and the publishing of their own journal in Arabic and Spanish.
  • In 1931 a mission was set up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and it includes a parish and pastoral center.
  • In 1931 a mission, the Parish and Pastoral Center, was set up in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1991 another church was founded in response to the growing community.
  • In 2012 a mission, the Pastoral Work Mission, was started in Bethlehem, South Africa, as the Benefice of the Church.
  • 12 priests are helping in the missionary work in the U.S.A.
  • In 1993, a mission started in Sydney, Australia where the priests help in the pastoral work of the Eparchy and in the "Voice of Charity".
  • In 2014, a mission started in Nigeria and elevated in 2018.Their priests are allowed to marry and assign to also help in the pastoral duties of the Eparchy of Nigeria. The headquarter is in Ibadan and Msgr. Simon Faddoul as their first bishop. Congratulations to the Nigerian Catholic Church for this new development facilitated by Pope Francis.

All of these places become a second home for the Maronites, as well as for the Lebanese in general. These centers are a place to renew their Christian beliefs and their Lebanese traditions and heritage.

See alsoEdit

Maronite Religious Institute (orders)Edit

Melkite Religious Institutes (Orders)Edit


  1. ^ Parry, Ken (2010). The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity. John Wiley & Sons. p. 306. ISBN 9781444333619.
  2. ^ King, Archdale (2007). The Rites of Eastern Christendom. Gorgias Press. ISBN 9781593333911.

External linksEdit

General Superiors of the CongregationEdit

Preceded by
Father Elie MADI, MLM
List of Superiors General of the Congregation of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries
Succeeded by