Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of São Paulo
|Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of São Paulo (Maronite)
Eparchia Dominae Nostrae Libanensis Sancti Pauli Maronitarum
|Ecclesiastical province||São Paulo|
|(as of 2013)
|Rite||West Syro-Antiochene Rite|
|Established||29 November 1971 (45 years ago)|
|Cathedral||Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral|
|Patriarch||Bechara Boutros al-Rahi|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Odilo Scherer|
The Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of São Paulo (Portuguese: Eparquia Nossa Senhora do Líbano em São Paulo) (Latin: Eparchia Dominae Nostrae Libanensis Sancti Pauli Maronitarum) is a diocese of the Maronite Church, based in the city of São Paulo, in the Ecclesiastical province of São Paulo in Brazil. In 2013 there were 489,000 members. It is currently ruled by Eparch Edgard Madi.
Territory and statistics
Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon in São Paulo includes all Lebanese Maronite Catholic believers living in Brazil. Its eparchial seat is São Paulo (city) where is located the Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral. The eparchy also includes Maronite parishes in Brazil, which are situated mainly in the southeastern part of the country: Sao Paulo, Bauru, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Rio de Janeiro, Campinas, Guarulhos and Piracicaba.
The territory of the eparchy is divided into 10 parishes and in 2013 there were 489,000 Maronite Catholics.
On 30 May 1962, Pope John XXIII established the Maronite Apostolic Exarchate (the equivalent in the Eastern Churches of a Vicariate Apostolic) for Maronite Catholics in Brazil and appointed Bishop Francis Mansour Zayek to head it. He was the first bishop appointed to operate outside the historical areas of the Maronite Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East to serve in the Maronite diaspora. He was officially ordained bishop on 5 August 1962 as an auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, and titular bishop of Callinicum dei Maroniti.
Zayek served as bishop for the Maronite Catholics of that country until 1966, when he was transferred by the Holy See to the United States. Monsignor Anthony Joubeir was appointed vicar-general to Maronite faithful until 1968. He was succeeded on March 1, 1968 by Bishop João Chedid. who was already bishop and Vicar General of the Maronite Patriarch in Lebanon and since 1956 was auxiliary bishop and held the Vicar General of the Maronite Patriarch in Lebanon and Ordinary for Eastern Catholic faithful in Brazil.
On 29 November 1971, Pope Paul VI raised the exarchate to the rank of an eparchy canonically elected by the apostolic constitution Quod provident, of November 29, 1971, became then an ecclesiastical circumscription of the Maronite Church, one of the 23 sui juris Churches of the Catholic Church  in the Ecclesiastical province of São Paulo in Brazil, separating itself of the Ordinariate for Eastern Catholics in Brazil, erected on November 14, 1951. Under these conditions the bishop or eparch is the ordinary of the diocese.
Bishop João Chedid resigned in 1990 by reason of advanced age and poor health and died in Lebanon on 30 July 1991.
The third bishop of the Maronite Church was Joseph Mahfouz who was elected on June 9, 1990 and consecrated on August 12, 1990, in Lebanon. He arrived in Brazil on October 6, 1990, taking possession on the 21st of that month and remained in front of the Maronite Archbishopric of Brazil, retiring after completing 75 years old in December 2006.
The fourth Maronite bishop of Brazil is Dom Edgard Madi who officially assumed the duties of the highest Maronite post in Brazil, on December 10, 2006.
At present, in addition to the cathedral in São Paulo, there are 8 Maronite parishes throughout the country.
- João Chedid, O.M.M. (29 November 1971 – 27 February 1988) Archbishop (27 February 1988 – 9 June 1990 retired)
- Joseph Mahfouz, O.L.M. (9 June 1990 – 14 October 2006 resigned)
- Edgard Madi (since 14 October 2006)
- "The Maronite Church in the U.S. Mourns the Death of Its First Shepherd" (PDF). The Maronite Voice. VI (IX). October 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Eparchy of Nossa Senhora do Líbano em São Paulo (Maronite)". Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- Paulus VI. (1972). Constitutio Apostolica Quod providente (PDF) (em latim). Acta Apostolicae Sedis LXIV: 408-409. Roma: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis. Visitado em 20.11.2011., vatican.va
- "Paróquias". Eparquia Maronita do Brasil (in Portuguese). Retrieved 5 January 2013.