Maris a name of frequent occurrence among the Orientals, and especially in Syria and Persia.
1. The later Nestorians circulated a legend concerning a person of this name, whom they claimed to have been one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ, a disciple of Thaddueus, colaborer with Thomas, and founder and first bishop of the Church at Seleucia-Ctcsiphson. This legend is connected with that of Abgarus (q.v.), and deserves no credit. The Chaldaean Christians class him with their principal saints as the Apostle of Mesopotamia, and ascribe to him the composition of their liturgy in part.
2. A second Maris, better known in the West, is noted solely because to him is addressed the letter of Ibas, president of the theological school at Edessa, which is preserved in Mansi (t. ix, col. 298-300), among the acts of the fifth oecumenical council held at Constantinople in 553, and which the Nestorians afterwards regarded as a kind of confession of faith.
3. Another Maris as was surnamed Bar-Tobi. He became patriarch of the Persian Nestorians in 987, and is remarkable as the first patriarch who derived his authority from the caliphs.
4. A fourth of this name, distinguished by the name of Solomon's son, lived in the 12th century, and wrote a history in Arabic of the Nestorian patriarchs, of which Assemani (Bibliotheca Orient. 3:554 sq., 581 sq.) furnishes an epitome.
5. Finally, Theodoret (q.v.) narrates an anecdote of still another Maris, which is noteworthy chiefly because of the light which it throws on the views of that bishop, and of the use which Romanists have made of it. Maris was a hermit, who had long desired to see "the most sacred, mysterious sacrifice" offered, and Theodoret joyfully complied with his wish. The sacred vessels were taken to his retreat, the hands of the deacons served as an altar, "and thus," says the bishop, "I offered the mysterious, divine, and saving sacrifice" in his presence. Romish writers find in these words of the distinguished father and historian of the 5th century an argument in favor of the Mass. See Theodoret, Religiosa historia, c. 2; Wetzer und Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 12:769. SEE NESTORIUS.