His Beatitude The Cardinal
Béchara Boutros Raï
PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH FOR MARONITES
Patriarch Moran Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi (or Raï, Arabic: مار بشارة بطرس الراعي Mor Bishārah Buṭrus al-Rāʿī) (born on 25 February 1940, in Himlaya, Lebanon) is the 77th Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, and head of the Maronite Church, a position he has held since 15 March 2011, succeeding Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir. Rahi also holds the position of a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi was born in Himlaya, Matn District, Lebanon on 25 February 1940. He attended Collège Notre Dame de Jamhour, a Jesuit school in Lebanon.
He entered the Mariamite Maronite Order on 31 July 1962 and was ordained as a priest on 3 September 1967. Better source needed] From 1967 to 1975 he was responsible for the Arabic programs of Vatican Radio. In 1975, he received a PhD in canon and civil law. He also studied for three years at Lateran University in Rome. He was appointed titular bishop of Caesarea Philippi on 2 May 1986 and consecrated as auxiliary bishop of Antioch on 12 July 1986, by Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir and his co-consecrators were Roland Aboujaoudé, Auxiliary bishop of Antioch, Georges Abi-Saber, titular bishop of Aradus, Chucrallah Harb, Eparch of Jounieh, Joseph Mohsen Béchara, Archeparch of Cyprus, Khalil Abi-Nader, Archeparch of Beirut, Ignace Ziadé, Emeritus Archeparch of Beirut, Antoine Joubeir, Archeparch of Tripoli, Elie Farah, Emeritus Archeparch of Cyprus, Joseph Merhi, Eparch of Cairo and Ibrahim Hélou, Eparch of Sidon. On 9 June 1990, he was elected bishop of Jbeil. In 2003 he was elected Secretary of the Maronite Synod, and in 2009 he was appointed President of the Lebanese Episcopal Commission for the Media.
At 71, he was elected patriarch of the Maronites on 15 March 2011, after getting more than two-thirds of the votes of the 39 bishops and replacing Nasrallah Sfeir. The new patriarch formally requested and received ecclesiastical communion from Pope Benedict XVI on 24 March 2011 pursuant to Canon 76 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The Mass for the inauguration of his Patriarchate took place on 25 March 2011, in Bkerké, the see of the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate. As is customary for all Maronite Patriarchs, Patriarch al-Rahi took the additional name Boutros, that of Saint Peter, who briefly held the See of Antioch before moving to Rome to become Bishop there. On 7 March 2012, Patriarch al-Rahi was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi was created a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in a consistory on 24 November 2012.Patriarch al-Rahi is the fourth Maronite Patriarch created cardinal, the first three being his three immediate predecessors Paul Peter Meouchi, Anthony Peter Khoraish, and Nasrallah Sfeir. On 31 January 2013, Cardinal Patriarch al-Rahi was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to serve as a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
In February 2013, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Patriarch Rai, being a Cardinal, became a candidate to the papacy. He participated as a cardinal elector in the conclave that elected Pope Francis. Cardinal Rai was one of four cardinal-electors from outside the Latin Church who wore distinct vestments proper to their respective churches. The other three cardinal-electors from outside the Latin Church were Coptic Catholic Patriarch-Emeritus Antonios Naguib, Syro Malabar Major Archbishop George Alencherry, and Syro-Malankara Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis. Cardinal Rai’s attire during the opening day was distinct from most of the other electors in that he wore all-red vestments with distinct headgear proper to the Maronite Church.Cardinal Rai is also the first Maronite Cardinal Patriarch ever to participate in a papal conclave. Cardinal Patriarch al-Rahi was named a Member of the Congregation for Catholic Education by Pope Francis on Saturday, November 30, 2013.
The Most Reverend Bishop
François Zeki Eid
François Eid joined the OMM of the Blessed Virgin Mary and received on 28 August 1971 his
priestly ordination. In 1975 he emigrated to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. From 1999 to 2005 Eid was Superior general of his order.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed him bishop of the Eparchy of Cairo for the Maronites on 24 September 1995. His episcopal ordination was conduced by Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, on 11 February 2006; his co-consecrators were Roland Aboujaoudé, Auxiliary bishop of Antioch, and Tanios El Khoury, Eparch of Sidon.
On 16 June 2012 François Eid was appointed Procurator of the Maronite Patriarch at the Holy See and resigned as Maronite Bishop of Cairo.
On April 5, 2014 Pope Francis appointed him a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Pope Francis appointed him on 13 April 2015 in addition Apostolic visitor for the Maronite faithful in Bulgaria, Greece and Romania.