Volume 1 No.1 January 1997
The Maronites have been in existence as a religious nation for 1600 years and as an indigenous people of the Near East for millennia.
The Journal of Maronite Studies (JMS) is concerned with the Maronites as a religious nation. The 1600 years are considerable to decipher, understand, and write about.
The Journal intends to publish information about the Maronites, which is, at times, hidden in rare books and manuscripts and, at others, was preserved in oral form by our grandparents.
In its premier issue, the Journal is publicizing a monumental historic discovery of naturally mummified Maronite bodies in the 'Asi-el-Hadath Grotto of the Qadischa Valley.
To many, this discovery may not be comparable to the discovery of the pre-Neandertal skull of Steinheim Germany, or Spain's human fossil of 780,000 years, or the Mummies of Egypt. But to the Lebanese people in general and Maronites in particular, the discovery is equally prominent.
To us this discovery is notable for three reasons: (1) these were the first discovered Maronite mummies, (2) their descendent are living today, and (3) because these mummies belong to the Middle Ages of which we know little.
The Journal is committed to sharing with you religious and civil history, antiquities, art, and the social heritage of the Maronite community. It is also dedicated to providing you with images of meaningful sites and people and with music of unparalleled sacredness. We are doing this in the hope that curiosity about the Maronite heritage will be kindled.
We invite you to participate with us in this learning journey, and we welcome your constructive comments and suggestions on how to improve our web site and Journal.
Guita G. Hourani