Benedictus (Originally Ambarach), Petrus

Benedictus (Originally Ambarach), Petrus a celebrated Maronite, was born at Gusta, in Phoenicia, in 1663, of a noble family, and sent to the Maronite College at Rome when but nine years old, where he made great progress in the Oriental languages; but returned afterwards to the East, and applied himself to preaching the Gospel there. The Maronites of Antioch sent him back to Rome as a deputy from their Church. Cosmo III, grand-duke of Tuscany, invited Benedictus to his court, heaped many honors and favors upon him, and made him professor of Hebrew at Pisa. Clement XI appointed him one of the correctors of the Greek press. He entered among the Jesuits at the age of forty-four, and his amiable temper, integrity, and skill in the Oriental languages procured him the esteem of all the learned. He died Sept. 22, 1742, at Rome. He published the first volumes of that excellent edition of St. Ephraim which has been continued and finished by Assemani. See Chalmers, Biog. Dict. s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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