Joseph Tyan

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Joseph VII Tyan
(يوسف السابع تيّان)
Patriarch of Antioch
Joesehp tyan.jpg
Church Maronite Church
See Patriarch of Antioch
Elected April 28, 1796
Term ended 1809
Predecessor Philip Gemayel
Successor John Helou
Ordination (Priest) 1784
Consecration (Bishop) August 6, 1786
by Joseph Estephan
Personal details
Born March 15, 1760
Died February 20, 1820(1820-02-20) (aged 59)
Qannubin Monastery, Kadisha Valley

Joseph VII Peter Tyan[1] (born on March 15, 1760 in Beirut, Lebanon – died on February 20, 1820 in Qannubin, Lebanon) (or Youssef Tyan, Youssef Tiyen, Thian, Tian, Tyen, Al-Tiyyan, Arabic: يوسف السابع تيّان‎‎) was the 66th Maronite Patriarch of Antioch from 1796 until his resignation in 1809.


Joseph Tyan was born in Beirut, Lebanon on March 15, 1760.[2] He studied in Rome in the College of the Propaganda where he remained from 1773 to 1782. In 1783 and 1784 he played an important role in supporting Patriarch Joseph Estephan's reconciliation with the Roman authorities. Joseph Tyan was ordained as a priest in 1784,[3] and he was appointed Maronite bishop of the Maronite Catholic Archeparchy of Damascus and consecrated on August 6, 1786 by Patriarch Joseph Estephan.[4] Even if Rome judged his episcopal ordination as not in line with the current rules, Tyan was appointed Patriarchal Vicar in 1788.

After the death of Patriarch Joseph Estephan in 1793, two short-reigning Patriarchs followed, and finally on April 28, 1796 Joseph Tyan was elected patriarch, even if opposed by the Khazen Sheikhes.[5] His election was confirmed by Pope Pius VI on July 24, 1797.[4][6]

In March 1801 Joseph Tyan wrote an encyclical to his faithful against the Jansenistic doctrine of Germanos Adam, thus defending papal primacy.

Patriarch Joseph Tyan took a stand against the Ottoman government, and during the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria he supported Napoleon in the siege of Acre (1799), urging Maronites to volunteer and asking Emir Bashir II to ally himself with Napoleon.[7] Despite Tyan's hopes, Emir Bashir remained neutral and the British-Ottoman alliance defeated Napoleon at Akko.

The difficulties of the Patriarchate of Joseph Tyan increased; he came in conflict with Emir Bashir II not only for his support of Napoleon, but also for the excessive taxes the Emir imposed on the Maronite peasants.[7] He also had to face the discontent of some of his bishops, led by the Khazen Sheikhes, who in 1800 wrote to Rome complaining that Tyan illegally took church properties and instigated discord. Actually the real reason for the Khazen Sheikhes' opposition to him seems to have been his attempt to implement reform of the administration of the monasteries, which in great measure were owned by the Sheikhes. Only Tyan's successor, John Helou, could start such reform with the 1818 synod.[5]

Due to the above difficulties, in 1805 the Vatican appointed an Apostolic visitor in the Maronite Patriarchate, Germanos El Khazen bishop of Damascus, followed on March 7, 1807 by Aloisio Gandolfi, who took a stand against Joseph Tyan, and advised him to retire. On October 3, 1807 Patriarch Joseph Tyan wrote a letter to Rome with his resignation, that was communicated to the Maronite bishops on November 19, 1808. Consequently Aloisio Gandolfi summoned a meeting of all the bishops in Harissa in April 1809. A short time later, on June 8, 1809, John Helou was elected Patriarch.[4]

Joseph Tyan retired in a hermitage and later moved to Kfarhaye (Batroun District) to teach theology in the newly erected seminary of Saint Maron. He died in odour of sanctity on February 20, 1820 in the patriarchal residence of the Qannubin Monastery, in the Kadisha Valley.[7][8]

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  1. ^ [The addition of the name Peter (in Arabic: Boutros ) to their first name is customary for newly elected Maronite patriarchs; about Tyan, acts Consistory of 1797 call Petrus Josephus , and likewise the patriarch signature Petrus Josephus patriarcha Antiochenus in the letter with a request to the pope the confirmation of his election.]
  2. ^ Bullarium pontificium sacrae congregationis de propaganda fide. 4. typ. coll. Urbani, propaganda fide. 1841. p. 252. 
  3. ^ "The Maronite Patriarchs". Kobayat. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c Dib, Pierre (2001). Histoire des Maronites: L'église maronite du XVIe siècle à nos jours, Volume 3. Librairie Orientale. pp. 213–215, 220–224. ISBN 978-9953-17-005-3. 
  5. ^ a b Leeuwen, Richard (1994). Notables and Clergy in Mount Lebanon: the Khazin Sheiks and the Maronite Church. Boston: Brill Academic Publishers. pp. 143–145. ISBN 90-04-09978-6. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ a b c Dau, Butros (1984). Religious, cultural and political history of the Maronites. Lebanon. pp. 721–723. 
  8. ^

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