Monday, March 29, 2010

St. Maron in the Vatican?

A few days ago while watching the daily news on MTV I saw a lengthy report of joy and jubilation with the news that the Pope had granted a special holy corner in St. Paul’s Basilica where a 5 meter statue of St. Maron shall be erected. As always, the cynical in me swallows everything the Lebanese media regurgitates with a pinch of salt. So, I ran a Google News search on the subject today to confirm the story. Lo and behold, Google and all its might could only find two references for the search string “Vatican, Maron, statue” (I even tried different spellings of Maron just in case Google wasn’t getting it). The first is a link to a L’Orient Le Jour article I could not access; the second is a story referencing a press release from the Maronite Church - excerpt below - that can be found here.

This is a momentous event for the Lebanese Maronite Church and indeed for whole of the Catholic Church and will be celebrated in a big ceremony on the 31st of October 2010 by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
I’m at a loss here; how can such a momentous event for the Lebanese Maronite Church and indeed for the whole of the Catholic Church be treated with such indifference by the world media?

Possible theories:

  1. The story is bogus and fabricated by the Lebanese Maronite Church
  2. The event is hardly momentous but part of a routine re-decoration and house-cleaning exercise of the Basilica
  3. St. Maron’s statue is an allegory; he will be present in spirit not in stone
  4. Google’s search engine does not index the divine word
  5. St. Maron’s name in Vatican jargon is not Maron but something else
Can someone resolve the mystery? 

PS: Running a general Google search for the same words landed me on the Youtube video of the MTV news bit on the subject; it can be accessed here.


  1. Anonymous11:16 AM

    The whole Maronite sect is hardly visible in the world media. We were facing risk of extinction and no one seemed to even know about it.

    That's the answer: We do not exist in the world's media radar, not even as a small black point somewhere in the middle east.


  2. Thank you Roland. This is one explanation I did not even think about given how Maronites view themselves as the center of the world. True,the Maronites' irrelevance probably explains it ;)

  3. Robert10:21 AM

    We are not the center of the world , but the universe..the presidency is ours and max a minister is your share

  4. Anonymous6:11 PM


    Google was not arounf when the sons of Mar Youhana Maroun were mixing their blood with the soil of the mountains of Lebanon..Keep googling my Friend until you get googled out

    Yours truly Seeman one of the sons of MAr Youhana Maroun

  5. Lebanese Maronite Proud to be1:57 PM

    Thank you for the article. I thought the same. Google does not care about the Maronite Church, as a matter of fact Google does not care about the whole Catholic Church.

  6. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Keeping in mind the capitalistic aspect of our world, moreover today's media, where scoops are everything, and taking into consideration all that is occurring recently on the global playground, one can easily see how the scoop of St. Maron's statue being erected in the Vatican just does not relatively "sell" as much as Kaddhafi's bombing of Tripoly.
    Somehow, negative news sells much better than positive new, mainly because of the shock and awe effect it has on viewers.

    Your blog post is void, and unnecessary; you are in a way mimicking global media's approach of attracting audiences by using sarcasm on religious targets. Classic.

    Let's all try to avoid cheap scoops such as these.