1630 - 1704
Patriarch Estefan Duwayhi,
his Life and
was known as “The Saint Patriarch,” “The Saint of the Patriarchs,” “The
Father of Maronite History,” “Pillar of the Maronite Church,” “The Second
Chrysostom,” “Splendor of the Maronite Nation,” “The Glory of Lebanon and
Born: August 2,
Name: Estefan (Stephen) after his patron, St. Stephen, first
deacon and first martyr, whose feast day is August 2.
stronghold of the Maronites, in North Lebanon, 3,500 feet above sea level,
with a rich religious history: three patriarchs, thirty-four bishops and
many priests, hermits, monks and nuns.
He had pious
and good parents: Deacon Mikhael Duwayhi and Mariam Duwayhi; one brother,
Moussa; an uncle, Bishop Elias Duwayhi. He lost his father when he was
three years old.
At age five, he entered the Parochial School of St. Peter in North
Ehden, acquiring basics of arithmetic, Arabic and Syriac languages, and a
solid Christian formation. He distinguished himself by his prodigious and
Aware of his
intellectual capacity and of his religious and moral qualities, Patriarch
Gerges Omayra Duwayhi and Bishop Elias Duwayhi, both from Ehden, sent him
to Rome where he arrived in June, 1641; he was only eleven years
He joined the Maronite College of Rome,
founded in 1584 by Pope Gregory XIII and directed by the Jesuit
There, he astonished everyone by his superior
intelligence, profound piety, and outstanding personality. His professor,
Father Sparsa, testified: “I taught in many lands and in many
universities, but I have not found the likes of Estefan, in the brightness
of his mind and the purity of his life.”
his intense studying, he became almost completely blind, but, through the
intercession of Mary, Mother of God, he miraculously regained his sight,
never having to wear glasses.
He learned all that the Eternal City had to offer to a brilliant
student. He earned a Doctorate in Philosophy and Theology. Besides his
canonical formation, he was fluent in Arabic, Syriac, Latin, Italian,
Greek and Hebrew. Later he obtained some knowledge of French and
In 1655, he brilliantly finished his
intellectual formation and his reputation spread throughout Europe.
However, he refused all tempting offers in universities and Royal Courts.
He chose to return to Lebanon, after remaining in Rome for another six
months, visiting all the libraries and gathering precious documents about
the Maronites. He returned to Lebanon on April 3, 1655, following fourteen
years in Rome.
was ordained a priest on March 25, 1656 by Patriarch Youhanna at the
Monastery of Sts. Sarkis and Bacchus in Ehden.
opened a free school for children at the Monastery of St. Yacoub Al Ahbach
1657, he was sent to Aleppo (Syria) by Patriarch Gerges Bshebhely, to work
for the unity of Christians and to help his friend, Bishop Andrew
Agheejan, who became the first Syrian Catholic
Mission in Lebanon:
In 1658, he was named missionary of the Congregation of the
Propagation of the Faith and returned to his school in Ehden. That same
year, he was sent by Patriarch Bshebhely to Jheeta, Kasrouan, Lebanon to
teach and preach, and then to South Lebanon, to Saida, Bekah, Marjehyoun.
Finally, he was appointed pastor of Ardee and the neighboring villages in
1662, at the request of Patriarch Bshebhely and the people, he returned to
Aleppo (Syria), where he was called “The Second Chrysostom.” He remained
there for six years.
May, 1668, Duwayhi returned to Lebanon and went with his mother and
brother for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Upon his return from the Holy Land, he was surprised to learn he had
been elected Bishop of Cyprus. On July 8, 1668, he was ordained Bishop by
Patriarch Gerges Bshebhely.
leaving for Cyprus, Patriarch Bshebhely sent him to visit and comfort the
parishes of Jebbee, Zawiya and Akkar in North
same year, he entered the Diocese of Cyprus, establishing his residence in
Nicosia, but visiting all the Maronite cities of the Island, preaching,
gathering documents and organizing the Diocese which had been vacant for
thirty-four years. Providentially, he left Cyprus on April 12, 1670, for a
short visit to Lebanon. It was the day that Patriarch Gerges Bshebhely
20, 1670, Bishop Estefan Duwayhi was elected Patriarch. Two days later, he
was ordained Patriarch at Qannubine, the patriarchal See at that time, in
the Holy Valley.
Throughout his thirty-four years of Patriarchate, Duwayhi did not
taste rest. Nine times, he was forced to flee from his See of Qannubine to
Mar Challita Mekbes in Ghosta, Kesrouan, to Mejdelmhooch in the Chouf or
in Jbeil and Batroun. Through his trials and persecutions, he personally
sums up the whole story and destiny of the Maronite Nation. He was always
on the move, hiding in caves and places almost insalubrious, carrying
notes and documents, writing late into the night under very bad
conditions, and caring about everyone and everything in the Maronite
twenty-seven churches and many monasteries, ordained fourteen bishops and
many priests. He protected the Maronite Church from Latinization, gave her
the proper and distinguished identity, was instrumental in the foundation
of the Lebanese Order and in the conversion to the Catholic Faith of the
Melkite Patriarch Cyril and of the establishment of the first Syrian
Catholic Patriarch. He reorganized the Maronite Church, reaffirmed her
foundations and endowed her with the precious treasure of his
Patriarch Estefan Duwayhi died, as he wished, at his See of Qannubine
in the aroma of sanctity, on May 3, 1704.
Always engaged in traveling because of the political unrest and social
situation, he nevertheless wrote thirty extensive books on history and
Church liturgy, not including his precious commentaries and his enormous
correspondence to Popes, Kings, Cardinals and civic leaders. Among his
writings are: History of the Times; The origins of the Maronites; The
Defense of the Orthodoxy of the Maronites; The Book of Ordinations; The
Series of Maronite Patriarchs; The Lamp of the Sanctuary; The Book of
Consecrations; The Book of Anaphoras; The Book of Rites and Benedictions;
The Book of Syriac Tunes, and many others…
Patriarch Estefan Duwayhi was revered as a saint. Many miracles are
attributed to him, both during his life and after his death. The Cause of
his Beatification presented by the parish of Ehden was accepted by Rome
and is advancing tremendously.
He was of average height, and had a large
forehead, a long beard, a solid constitution, an aquiline nose and
refused the Roman honors and tried to refuse the Episcopate and
Patriarchate. He used to receive the poor and peasants the same as he
would receive great leaders.
He was a
man of prayer. He liked to seclude himself in caves or in hidden places
for prayer and meditation. In Qannubine, he had made an opening in his
room so he could look freely at the Blessed Sacrament and the Icon of Mary
in the church.
was very enduring and austere in his lifetime. According to his
contemporary and biographer, Bishop Semaan Awad, later Patriarch from 1742
to 1756,“He never ate meat during his life, except when ordered by his
medical advisor or his spiritual director and only for health
possessed all the qualities of a true scientist in history and liturgy.
Everything he advanced was based on proof and documents. In Rome, he
undertook a thorough investigation related to documents concerning the
Maronites at the Vatican Library and Archives, at the Maronite College,
and in many other places. In Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus, he visited almost
all the Maronite churches, monasteries and houses, gathering very ancient
and precious documents and manuscripts. Many events related by Duwayhi
have been verified by later discoveries.
His love for his Church and country was always the guideline of his
life. He visited almost all the parishes, reviewing and correcting the
books he could find, and properly organizing their administration, or even
paying their debts. Thanks to him, the Maronite Church was furnished with
all the liturgical books needed for prayers, consecrations and
benedictions. He has been rightly named, “The Father of the Maronite
Church.” As for his patriotism, his books on history, many of his
writings, and his entire life of trials and sufferings reveal an authentic
national sentiment. To him, we owe the knowledge of many obscure points of
was a giant, a genius, so gifted a person that the world would not see the
likes of him for centuries. His biographer, Semaan Awad said, “He was
like an eagle flying above all the birds and was among his peers like the
sun among the stars.” They talked about his miracles, but without
doubt, the greatest miracle he ever performed was certainly his various
and immense writings. Only a person inspired, encouraged and pushed from
above can produce the giant-like and encyclopedic treasure he left for
posterity to admire.
Patriarch Estefan Duwayhi
1630 - 1704
Patriarch Estephan Boutros El Douaihy
www.wikipedia.org - Encyclopedia
||Patriarch Estephan Boutros El Douaihy
(also Etienne Douaihi,
Stefano Douayhy, Istifan Ad Duwayhy, Stephane Al Doueihi Arabic: أسطفان الدويهي ) was born in Ehden, Lebanon on August
2, 1630. He
was the Patriarch
of the Maronite Church
from 1670 to 1704. He is considered one of the major Arab Historians of the 17th
century and was known as “The Father of Maronite History”, “Pillar of the
Maronite Church”, “The Second Chrysostom”,
“Splendor of the Maronite Nation”, “The Glory of Lebanon and the
Maronites”. He was declared Servant of God by the Congregation
for the Causes of Saints under Protocol number 2145.
On July 3, 2008, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI authorised the
Congregation for the Causes of Saints to draw up a decree on the heroic
virtues of Patriarch El Douaihy who will be referred to as
Venerable from the moment of publication of the decree
This is an important step in the ongoing Beatification
El Douaihy was born at a time when the
Maronites were suffering badly from Ottoman oppression. However, the
Ottoman empire was not benefiting from the expansion of world commerce,
and so the Ottoman rulers, and the local Muslim and Druze chiefs who ruled
with Ottoman consent (something which could be withdrawn) enriched
themselves by taxing the Maronite peasantry. At the age of sixteen,
recognized as a brilliant young talent, he was sent to the Maronite College
(Seminary) in Rome. 
He studied there for nine years, being cured of a serious condition which
almost led to blindness. El Douaihy believed that the intercession of the
Blessed Virgin Mary was responsible for his cure. While in Italy, he
traveled as widely as possible seeking manuscripts dealing with Maronite
history and liturgy. When he returned to Lebanon at the age of 25, he
continued his research.
As bishop, and later as Patriarch, he
undertook reforms of the Maronite Church and its monks. Douaihy was
elected Patriarch in 1670, when he was only 40 years old. This is
universally seen as an acknowledgment of his personal moral qualities, his
extraordinary learning, and his keen appreciation of the issues the
Maronites faced. He paid particular attention to the traditions of the
Maronite Church, and favoured a de-Latinisation of rites and ceremonies.
He was hounded - there is no better word - by Ottoman authorities, who
resented his principled appeals for justice for the Maronites. In
particular, they were frustrated by his resistance to their oppressive
taxation policies: policies which saw the abandonment of many villages by
peasants unable to pay their taxes. It was also a period when Maronites
and, in particular, their clergy, were liable to sudden arrest, assault
and murder. The Patriarch was not exempt, being assaulted himself. He was
accordingly obliged to move from place to place. Yet, he maintained his
writing, and without him, we would be very much poorer in our knowledge of
Douaihy traveled throughout the Maronite
world, including Cyprus and Aleppo, which were even more important centers
of the Maronite faith then, although they are still important now. This is
partly because Aleppo was at that time a focus for the international
overland trade, the only trade where the Ottoman empire had any opening,
given the European domination of the sea routes.
Death and afterward
Almost immediately after his death, he was
considered by many Maronites of Lebanon, but particularly in North Lebanon
and in Zgharta, Ehden to have been a saint.
The Congregation of the Causes of Saints issued the decree of nulla osta
for his beatification cause on December 5, 1996. The Patriarchate of
Antioch of the Maronites proceeded with the diocesan investigation and, at
its culmination, submitted the results to congregation, which validated
the proceedings with a decree dated on November 8, 2002. The Positio for
the beatification cause was published in 2005 and it received the approval
of the Historical Commission of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints
on January 24, 2006. On July 3, 2008, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to draw up a decree
on the heroic virtues of Patriarch El Douaihy who will be referred to as
Venerable from the moment of publication of the decree. Some of the
miracles attributed to him have been collected by M.S. El Douaihy.
Religious, philosophical and/or political
Douaihy strongly believed in the social
importance of education and science (being an amateur scientist himself).
Given the importance of learning, and his experience in how far European
education exceeded Oriental, he pursued a successful policy of sending as
many Maronites to Rome as possible, to become capable of returning to the
villages in which the Maronite peasantry lived, and raising the level of
general education. Douaihy established a college in Aleppo, which became
the base for the development of renewed monastic orders. As with his
educational policy, his monastic renewal was a success, and still bears
Some of Douaihy's historical theories
(e.g. of the perpetual orthodoxy of the Maronites) is controversial. But
as a whole, with one or two exceptions, his general account of Maronite
history is accepted as trustworthy. It is certainly the most satisfying
general account of Maronite realities into the eighteenth
Of the many works of Patriarch El Douaihy,
the vast bulk are still available only in Arabic. A
selection has been translated into French by Youakim Moubarac
in Pentalogie antiochenne/domaine Maronite.
That selection focusses upon his discussion of the rites and cermonies of
the Maronite Church. However, his major work is a general history book,
Tarikh Al Azminah, available in several versions.
- Duwayhī, I., & Fahd, B. (1976).
Tārīkh al-azminah. Dar Lahd Khatir, Lebanon.
- Duwayhī, I., & Tawtal, F. (1951).
Tārīkh al-azminah, 1095-1699. Bayrūt: al-Matbaaah
- Duwayhī, I., & Hage, L. (1987).
The Syriac model strophes and their poetic meters, by the Maronite
Patriarch Stephen Douayhi an introduction, translation, commentary and
critical edition. Kaslik, Lebanon: University of the Holy Spirit.
- Duwayhī, I., & Shartūnī, R. a.-K.
(1980). Manārat al-aqdās. Rābitat al-Batrīark Istīfān al-Duwayhī
al-Thaqāfīyah, Zgharta, Lebanon.
- Duwayhī, I., & Fahd, B. (1974).
Kitāb al-sharh al-mukhtassar fī asl al-Mawārinah wa-thabātihim fī
al-amānah wa-ṣiyānatihim min kull bidaah wa-kihānah. [Bayrūt]:
- Duwayhī, I., & Daww, A. (1973).
Asl al-Mawārinah. Manshūrāt Muaassasat al-Turāth al-Ihdinī, 1.
Ihdan, Lebanon: [Muaassasat al-Turāth al-Ihdinī].
- Duwayhī, I., & Hage, L. (1986).
Les strophes-types syriaques et leurs mètres poétiques du patriarche
maronite Etienne Douayhi. Bibliothèque de l'Université Saint-Esprit,
13. Kaslik, Liban: Bibliothèque de l'Université Saint-Esprit.
- Duwayhī, I., & Shartūnī, R. a.-K.
(1890). Tārīkh al-tāifah al-Mārūnīyah. Bayrūt: al-Matbaah
- Duwayhī, I., & Fahd, B. (1974).
Liber brevis explicationis de Maronitarum origine eorumque perpetua
orthodoxia et salute ab omni haeresi et superstitione. S.l: s.n.].
Hitti, Philip K. Hitti (2004), History of Syria, including Lebanon
and Palestine, New Jersey: Gorgias Press, 2004 reprint of 1951
EL Douaihy, Mikhael S. El Douaihy (20074), Patriarch Estefan El
Douaihy, Lebanon? Cultural Committee of Patriarch El Douaihy, 2007,
* Moubarac, Y. (1984)- Pentalogie Antiochienne / Domaine
Maronite, Volume 1, Part 1, éditions Cénacle Libanais, Beirut.(French)
- Jumayyil, N., & Duwayhī, I. (1991). al-Batrīyark Istifānūs
al-Duwayhī hayātuhu wa-muaallafātuhu. Bayrūt: N. al-Jumayyil
- Shiblī, B. (1970). Tarjamat abīnā al-maghbūt Istifānūs Butrus
al-Duwayhī batriyark Antākyah, 1630-1704. Jūniyah, Lubnān:
- Hārūn, J. (1981). Istifān al-Duwayhī. Beirut: s.n.].
- Nūjaym, T. F. (1990). La maronité chez Estéfān Dūwayhī.
Kaslik, Liban: Université Saint-Esprit.
- Maroun, S.-G. (1988). Stephan Ad-Doueihy a Maronite splendor.