Paul Peter Massad

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His Beatitude
Paul I Peter Massad
(بولس الأول بطرس مسعد)
Patriarch of Antioch
Patriarche Massad.jpg
Church Maronite Church
See Patriarch of Antioch
Elected November 12, 1854
Term ended April 18, 1890
Predecessor Joseph Ragi El Khazen
Successor John Peter El Hajj
Ordination June 13, 1830 (Priest)
Consecration March 28, 1841 (Bishop)
by Joseph Peter Hobaish
Personal details
Born February 16, 1806
Ashqout, Lebanon
Died April 18, 1890(1890-04-18) (aged 84)
Bkerké, Lebanon

Paul I Peter Massad (born 16 February 1806 in Ashqout, Lebanon – died on 18 April 1890 in Bkerké, Lebanon) (or Boulos Boutros Massaad, Mas'ad, Arabic: بولس الأول بطرس مسعد‎‎) was the 70th Maronite Patriarch of Antioch from 1854 until his death in 1890.


Paul Peter Massad was born in the village of Ashqout, in the Keserwan District, Lebanon on February 16, 1806.

He studied in the seminary of 'Ain-Ourakat and later in Rome in the College of the Propaganda where he remained seven years. Returned in Lebanon, he became secretary of Patriarch Joseph Peter Hobaish,[1] who ordained him as a priest on June 13, 1830.

Patriarch Joseph Peter Hobaish consecrated Paul Peter Massad titular bishop of Tarsus on March 28, 1841, and appointed him as his own spiritual vicar.[2] After Patriarch Joseph Ragi El Khazen's death, Paul Peter Massad was elected patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites on November 12, 1854[3] and confirmed on March 23, 1855 by Pope Pius IX.[4]

One of his first acts as Patriarch was to hold a national synod of the Maronites, in Bkerké, in April 1856, under the presidency of the papal legate of Syria, Paul Brunoni. He called for this meeting not only the Maronite bishops, but also the superiors of the Maronites, the rectors of Latin missions and some notables of the Maronite nation. The purpose of the meeting was to make applicable the decrees of the Maronite synod of 1736 adapting it to the new circumstances. However, the scope of this synod was insignificant, especially since the Holy See never approved officially these acts, which therefore remained a dead letter.

Paul Peter Massad was patriarch during one of the more difficult periods for the Maronites. The 1858 rebellion of the peasants in the Keserwan was an internal conflict that weakened the Maronite society, and it led to the 1860 Lebanon conflict in which the Druzes, with the support of the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain, massacred several thousand Christians. During these events, Massad tried to relieve the suffering of his nation, but he couldn't prevent the bloody war.

In 1867, Paul Peter Massad traveled to Rome with a Maronite delegation that included the Archbishop of Tyre Pierre Bostani to attend the 1800th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul.[5] He was the second Maronite Patriarch after Jeremy el-Amchiti (died 1230) to travel to Rome. Following Rome, he travelled to France where he met Napoleon III, asking for financial and political help for the Christians of Lebanon. He received from Napoleon III the French Legion of Honour. He then journeyed to Constantinople where he was received by Sultan Abdul-Aziz and presented with the Ottoman Order of the Medjidie. He did not personally participate in the First Vatican Council in 1869-1870, but he delegated the Archbishop of Tyre, Pierre Boustani, to head a delegation that also included the Archbishop of Beirut Tobia Aoun.[4]

A man of culture, Massad wrote several works among which are mentioned: a book of the characteristics of the Eastern Churches; about the procession of the Holy Spirit; a treatise of the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God; several dissertations about the Maronites and a historical account of Khazen family.

From a religious point of view, Massad fully established the Maronite Church within the Roman framework while maintaining many of its own distinctive elements.[6] He died on April 18, 1890 in the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate in Bkerké, Lebanon.[7]

See also[edit]


  • Pierre Dib, v. Maronite (Eglise), in the Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique, Tome Dixième, première partie, Paris 1928, coll. 106-107.


  1. ^ "S.B. Pierre-Paul Massad". Les Missions Catholique. 22: 274–276. 1890. 
  2. ^ Graf, Georg (1960). "114 Paulus Mas'ad". Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur, Volume 3. Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. p. 483. 
  3. ^ "Patriarch Boulos Boutros Mass’ad (Massaad)". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Dib, Pierre (2001). Histoire des Maronites: L'église maronite du XVIe siècle à nos jours, Volume 3. Librairie Orientale. pp. 235–236. ISBN 978-9953-17-005-3. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Angold, Michael (2006). Eastern Christianity. Cambridge England: Cambridge. p. 521. ISBN 978-0-521-81113-2. 
  7. ^ "The Maronite Patriarchs". Kobayat. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 

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