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St Charbel: The Hermit of Lebanon
St. Charbel's Parish, Sydney Australia ^ | n/a | unknown

Posted on 07/23/2004 8:23:13 AM PDT by Pyro7480

Saint Charbel

The Hermit of Lebanon

[The Hermit of Lebanon] [Photo Gallery] [Bibliography] [Listen to Min Deir Annaya in Real Audio 7]
[Maronite Saints]

The Saint Charbel is the first Confessor of the Eastern Church raised to the glory of the altars in modern times. He was born on 8 May 1828, in the village of Bkaakafra in the high mountains of Northern Lebanon from poor, but respectable and devout parents. He was the last of five children. Two brothers and two sisters were born before him into that blessed family. When he was baptised, he was given the name of Joseph.

He learned a profound and sound piety from his parents and cultivated these seeds of sanctity with generous care. With continuous prayer, his life was inspired by detachment and denial of worldly vanities, always seeking interior and exterior solitude. At the age of twenty-three, he left home and became a novice at the Monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouq, north of Jbeil.

Some time later he was transferred to the Monastery of Saint Maroun at Annaya. In 1853, after the two prescribed years of noviciate, he pronounced the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, choosing the name of Charbel who was an old Oriental martyr.

Humility, Poverty and Chastity

His mother and other members of his family, having found his shelter, reached him and begged him to go back home. It was useless as he refused firmly and persisted with his vocation. He renounced the pleasure of seeing his home, his relations and even his mother for ever. He made up his mind to die to the world and to cut off all ties with it in order to devote himself completely to God, without any reserve.

After pronouncing his solemn monastic vows, the Father Charbel was sent by his superiors to the Monastery of Cyprian and Justina at Kfifan to finish his religious studies. He was lucky to find two professors who were well known in the Order for their virtues and their theological and ascetical learning, namely the Reverend Father Nimitallah Al-Kafri and the Reverend Father Nimitallah Kassab Al-Hardini, (who is now counted amongst the Blessed.) Following the teaching and the example of these two outstanding Fathers, Saint Charbel laid in his heart the seeds of virtue and monastic perfection.

Saint Charbel was ordained priest on 23 July 1859 at Bkerke. He then was sent back again to the Monastery of Saint Maroun in Annaya where he performed all his holy services in a very edifying way, while carrying on every kind of manual work. He accomplished all the duties of monastic life with deep humility, perfect obedience, strict poverty and heroic chastity that made him resemble an angel.

The Hermitage

Saint Charbel had spent sixteen years of severe ascetic life always in prayer, mortification and self-denial. In 1875 his superiors permitted him to retire to the hermitage of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Annaya, which was two kilometres away from the Monastery of Saint Maroun.

As a hermit, he did not live independently in the solitude of his hermitage, but remained at the disposal of his superiors, following very severe and strict discipline.

Saint Charbel chose this solitude to practice virtue and his religious vows in a heroic way. Contemplation, manual work, fasting, continuous prayer, rest on a hard couch, hair shirt... all these ascetic practices were the program of his daily life. He lived this way of life for twenty-three years, from 1875 when he entered the hermitage to 1898 when he died. Saint Charbel dedicated himself with all his strength to a solitary life of perfection, penance, and mortification.

First Miracles and End of Worldly Life

God wanted to reward this soul purified by His love allowing Saint Charbel to perform extraordinary deeds during his life. Once he set his brethren free from a snake by asking the animal to go away. While saying his Breviary, his lamp was lit with water. He cured a mad person by saying a prayer and with the imposition of hands. While going to visit a sick person he was aware of his death before reaching his house. Obeying his superiors, he was able to free with holy water some fields invaded by grasshoppers.

On 16 December 1898, while he was celebrating Mass, at the Elevation of the Host, when, according to Maronite Liturgy he was saying this prayer:

"Father of Truth, here is Your Son, Victim of Expiation; here is the Blood which intercedes for me, it is my offering, accept it"

He suffered a stroke from which he never recovered. He remained between life and death for eight days, repeating the prayer mentioned above. On 24 December 1898 at the age of seventy he passed away and entered Heaven comforted by the Holy Sacraments of the Church.

He Fought a Good Fight

Sixteen years at the Monastery and twenty-three at the hermitage were lived in this holy way. His life was marked by a special devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. During the 39 years of his priestly life Saint Charbel used to celebrate the Holy Mass every day after a long preparation and he used to finish with a thanksgiving which lasted not less than two hours.

He went night and day to the chapel to visit the Blessed Sacrament and to say many Rosaries before the image of Our Lady. Prayers, fasting, mortification and penance for the love of God made up his life, and he could really say with Saint Paul at the end of his life:

'I have fought the good fight. Now I await the crown of justice from the Lord.'(Tim.4)

The fame of holiness which surrounded Saint Charbel during his life spread even more after his death. On the evening of his burial in the churchyard of Saint Maroun Monastery, his Superior, Father Antonio El-Michmichani wrote in the Convent's register:

'...On 24 December 1898, receiving the Sacraments of the Church, the hermit Father Charbel Makhlouf of Bkkakafra was, struck by paralysis. He was seventy. Because of what he will do after his death, I need not talk about his good behaviour and, above all, the observance of his vows, and we may truly say that his obedience was more angelic than human...'

These prophetic words have prodigiously come true, because hundreds of miracles have been obtained through the intercession of Saint Charbel at Annaya near his tomb and all over the world.

Undicating Remains

During the forty-five nights after his death an extraordinary brightness surrounded his tomb, according to many witnesses. The apparition of that light as well as the enthusiasm of the faithful, who tried to steal the remains of this holy man, made the Ecclesiastical Authority open the tomb four months afterwards.

It was the middle of winter, and his body was found floating on mud, due to extreame conditions. To everybody's surprise, the body was still incorrupt as if it had been buried that same day.

We speak of a prodigy which happened for many years. A bloodlike liquid was dripping from his body all the time, challenging the laws of nature. This liquid was taken devoutly in a cloth, which often gave relief to the sick, and sometimes cured them.

In 1927 a new burial took place, and his tomb was placed in the crypt of the Monastery. His tomb was opened again in 1950, 1952 and in 1955. Each time it had been noticed that his bleeding body still had its flexibility, as if he were still alive. Since the opening of his tomb in 1950 the miracles attributed to Saint Charbel had become more and more numerous, especially with regard to spiritual graces, conversions, and mystical fervour.

Around Saint Charbel's tomb there was a sense of faith and piety which attracted pilgrims from everywhere. Thousands of letters arrived at the Monastery, asking favour from this Saint. They are now kept in the archives of the convent. Every day, people from all over the world come to venerate his tomb and there they receive the Sacraments to renew their spiritual life and to find solace around the tomb of this hermit of the 19th century.

The Crippled Shall Walk

The two cures which had been acknowledged as miraculous by Pope Paul VI, validated the path for the Beatification of Saint Charbel Makhlouf. This happened during the Holy Year 1950.

The first case is that of Sister Maria Abel Kamari S.S.C.C who suffered from sharp pains caused by a gastric ulcer. She had been operated on, but without success. She went on suffering for fourteen years, compelled to stay in bed, unable to take food. Three times she was so near to dying that she was given the last Sacraments.

On 12 July 1950 she was taken on pilgrimage to Saint Charbel's tomb in Annaya. She could not even walk. She was there in long and fervent prayer when she felt new strength in her body. A few minutes later she got up without any help and started walking, followed by the people who cried that it was a miracle. Since that day, Sister Maria Abel Kamari never had any problems with her previous condition.

The second case is that of Mr. Alessandro O'beid. He had been struck by a branch of a tree on his right eye his in 1937 which caused a break of the retina, and he lost his sight.

Mr. O'beid visited many doctors, but all efforts were deemed useless. Near the end of 1950 he was cured after many prayers near the tomb of Father Charbel in Annaya.

This is what the doctor charged to examine this fact wrote:

'...According to science and conscience, we must say that an eye so ill and for so long was certainly lost forever. Therefore, we cannot explain how it has been cured, certainly not through natural means. We need to consider this extra-ordinary fact with great humility, and to attribute it to an Almighty will, which operates only by divine grace. There is no other explanation, and it is certain that we have seriously sought an explanation without finding one..."

He Opened The Way

The example of Saint Charbel,a monk with a solitary for the love of God, induces us in the midst of this restless and materialistic world to be silent in order to meet God and to establish an interior desert in our souls and to listen to the appeals of grace. This desert which does not make one poor, but rich, a solitude which does not cut us off from others, but which attracts souls to pray and which gives the world the graces necessary for salvation for the glory of God.

Each one of us will be able to follow Saint Charbel according to his own measure, escaping from the world when it is an enemy to God and from sin which kills the life of our soul. In fact, the Church presents the Hermit of Lebanon not only to our veneration but also as a model to all Christians.

His Beatification

"Glory to the Father who crowns the struggles of the Saints, Glory to the Son, who shows His power in their relics, Glory to the Holy Spirit who works through their mortal remains to give us a comfort in every sorrow". (Maronite Divine Office)

Beatification of Father Charbel's Solemn ceremony at Saint Peter's, 5 December 1965. Below is the address of the Patriarch Paul Peter Cardioal

(Translation of the original French - in principal parts)

"Most Holy Father, Charbel Makhlouf, the Lebanese Maronite Monk, whom you have inscribed today among the Blessed, is indeed for our world shaken by indifference, superficiality and atheism, the witness of penance and silent prayer. At the summit of a Lebanese Mountain, in a poor hermitage, deprived of everything, he resolved, attracted by the life of the Saviour, to follow the sorrowful way of His Cross. He decided, likewise, through mortification's, penances and great austerities, to offer thus give the example of a contrite heart and real return to God.

Penitence is nevertheless insufficient virtue without prayer. So the hermit Charbel used to pass long hours of the day and night in silent adoration and supplication. Combining with the contemplative life and manual labour he was reviving in himself the purest traditions of Oriental Monachism. By so doing, he was preaching to our unfortunate and confused world the message of truth and the right answer to the solution of its problems, namely, the practice of penance prayer and works.

It is indeed my privilege to express today to you, most Holy Father, my gratitude and that of our Maronite Church. I would like also to be the interpreter of all your children of Lebanon, as well as all those who of any race or religion have benefited by the intercession of this man of God.

I thank Your Holiness for inscribing the name of Father Charbel Makhlouf among the Blessed of the Church and for consecrating, at the same time, in the eyes of the Church and of humanity, his virtues so needed in our modern times.

May Saint Charbel and all those whom you inscribed or will inscribe among the Saints and the Blessed intercede for you before Christ the Lord. May you, likewise, reach through their intercession in your guiding role, your apostolic goal so clearly proclaimed before the whole world: recognition of the spiritual values of man created in the image of God. Peace in justice and the return of humanity to Christ, centre of everything for all, sole Light and Salvation of mankind.

The Address of the Pope Paul VI

Great today, is the gladness in heaven and earth for the Beatification of Charbel Makhlouf, Monk and Hermit of the Lebanese Maronite Order. Great is the joy of the East and West for this son of Lebanon, admirable flower of sanctity blowing on the stem of the ancient, monastic traditions of the East, and venerated today by the Church of Rome.

How can this joy but overflow first of all in the hearts of the sons of Saint Maroun? This is what is forcibly asserted by our venerable Brother, Cardinal Patriarch Paul Peter Meouchi, in profound words which we deeply appreciate. For the Maronite Order and for the Lebanese Catholics, this is indeed a great day. Likewise we are happy to greet at the same time the members of the delegation graciously representing the Lebanese Government on this occasion, as well as the other delegations. We are deeply moved by this delicate gesture and the presence of these personalities recalls vividly to our mind the warm welcome extended to us by the entire Lebanon. Without distinction of race or religion, at our stop in Beirut, on our way to Bombay. To all we extend our heartfelt thanks.

The large gathering of sons and daughters of the noble Lebanon - privileged "carrefour" and place of traditional encounters between Africa, Asia and Europe - near the glorious Tomb of Peter, underlines the importance of the act accomplished today by the Church. To the apostolic work, the Church must add centres of contemplative life where praise and intercession ascend to God in a perfumed fragrance.

These are, finally, the lessons derived from this ceremony for all. May Saint Charbel draw us after him along the path of sanctity, where silent prayer in the presence of God has its own particular place. May he make us understand, in a world largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God. The practice of these virtues is indeed different according to the various states of life and responsibilities of people. But no Christian can ignore them if he wants to follow Our Lord.

These are the noble lessons which Charbel Makhlouf so timely gives us. That they may be well understood and practiced. We implore upon all, through the intercession of this new Blessed. Already so venerated, an abundant effusion of graces; and paternally we bless you.

Saint Charbel's Moral Message

Great are the beneficial effects produced by Father Charbel's intercession for the relief of human suffering, cures of the sick, and other temporal favours. How much greater and more admirable is his influence in the spiritual domain?

While this transformation in the world of souls is not apparent to the senses, there is no reason to minimise its real value to the glory of God and His Church. From the obscure crypt of Saint Maroun Annaya there radiates a splendid ray of light enkindling the faith in souls grown cold by the errors of materialism and atheism. From this tomb emanates a supernatural power that is sweeping throughout the East and awakening the dormant energies of many hearts.

This scene of numerous miracles reflects a profound atmosphere of piety and religion. The sick, absorbed in prayer, seem to forget their suffering. Even non-Catholics, non-Christians join in the public acts of devotion and, when the priest blesses the faithful, the non-Christians refuse to be deprived of Father Charbel's intercession. The religious favour reaches its climax when the crowed witnesses a miraculous cure. Then resounds the cry Miracle! Miracle! The person favoured is lifted up and carried aloft; the bells of the monastery ring forth echoing the joyful news; the crowd follows the monks in praising and thanking God and proceeds to solemn devotion and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Moral transformation, the conversion of humanity, is without doubt the primary purpose of God's favours. As at Caphamaum, our Saviour, before ordering the paralytic to stand and walk, first absolved him saying:

'Thy sins are forgiven thee, my son. So here at Saint Maroun Annaya, God seems to have chosen a humble monk to exhort the people to do penance. It has been reported that Father Charbel appeared to some who were praying and begging for a miracle of healing, and he commanded them: Go first to the confessional cleanse your soul. The cure of the body followed the spiritual recovery.'

In confirmation of this spiritual message, we refer to the eminent voice of the Patriarch, Card. Paul P. Meouchi, when he says in his address at the Beatification:

'By his life, Saint Charbel is preaching to our unfortunate and confused world the message of truth and virtue, and he is going the right answer for the solution of its problems, namely, in the practice of penance, prayer and work.'

What better testimonial can we bring to the spiritual contribution of Saint Charbel in the restoration of the kingdom of Christ within the souls, than the magisterial word of the Supreme Pontiff? On that Sunday, 5 December, in the Basilica of Peter and from his throne, before the Fathers of the Ecumenical Council, and representations and Delegations of the whole world, he opens his address by this acclamation:

'Great is today the gladness in heaven and earth, for the Beatification of Father Charbel Makhlouf. Great is the joy of the East and West, for this son of Lebanon!'

Paul VI who ordered the Beatification to coincide with the closing of the Council, has in mind to propose the holy Hermit Charbel as a providential man bearing to our modern world a message of deep spirituality of an ecumenical character.

'At the closing of the Council, when many souls are inquiring about the proper measures to be used by the Church to hasten the coming of the Kingdom of Christ, how appropriately the Saint of Annaya is reminding us about the indispensable role of prayer, of hidden virtues, of mortification.'

'The just shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like the Cedar of Lebanon' (Ps. xci, 13).

His Canonisation

Grace of the third case, was the miracle of Miriam Aouad of Hammana. She suffered from throat cancer which doctors declared incurable. She prayed to Saint Charbel and was healed through his intervention in 1967. It was this third miracle that opened the path for Charbel to finally become counted amongst the Saints.

In 1976, Pope Paul VI signed the decision of the process for the canonisation of Saint Charbel, to be solemnly proclaimed in a Pontifical Mass on 9 October 1977.

Saint Charbel, a Lebanese Saint

The canonisation of a Lebanese monk is undeniably a historic event, and a new expression of the ecumenical movement in the church.

Saint Charbel, is the heir to an oriental spiritual heritage rich in its variety and its harmony which has flourished in Lebanon throughout the centuries. He is a true witness to the nobility of hidden virtue and to the triumph of the spirit. He sums up the various religious traditions- not only Christian but Sunnite, Shiite, Druse, and all the other beliefs in that mosaic of faiths which go to make up the great family of Lebanon. Each one can find his own features in the face of Saint Charbel.

With one of her sons honoured in the highest degree of holiness, Lebanon is today secure in her glory- the glory of people who have endeavoured throughout the centuries of history to endure as a stronghold of the values of the spirit.

TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Orthodox Christian; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: arab; catholic; catholiclist; charbel; christian; lebanese; lebanon; maronite; sharbel
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If some doubt that Pope Paul VI did anything good, I can name one major one. He canonized St. Charbel.

The Miraculous Picture

Saint Charbel appears in this photo on 8 May 1950 when a group of prigrims have a group photo taken in front of his tomb, at Saint Maroun's Monastery Annaya. This photo show his features consistant with those described of his last days on earth.
(The pilgrims did not see St. Charbel when the picture was taken, but he showed up when the developed the film).

1 posted on 07/23/2004 8:23:13 AM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: Siobhan; Canticle_of_Deborah; broadsword; NYer; Salvation; sandyeggo; american colleen; ...
St. Charbel, Hermit of Lebanon ping!

2 posted on 07/23/2004 8:24:25 AM PDT by Pyro7480 (Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix.... sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper...)
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To: Pyro7480

Canonization Mass - St. Peter's, Rome
3 posted on 07/23/2004 9:17:04 AM PDT by NYer (When you have done something good, remember the words "without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5).)
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To: Pyro7480
       "From the top of the cedar, from the highest branch I will take a shoot and plant it myself on a very high mountain...this branch will bear fruit and become a noble cedar". (Ezekiel 17:22-26)
  The Story of Charbel

On May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Beka'kafra, the highest village in the near-east, Charbel was born to a poor Maronite family. From childhood his life revealed a calling to "bear fruit as a noble Cedar of Lebanon". Charbel "grew in age and wisdom before God and men". At 23 years old he entered the monastery of
Our Lady of Mayfouk (north of Byblos) where he became a novice. After two years of novitiate, in 1853, he was sent to St. Maron monastery where he pronounced the monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Charbel was then transferred to the monastery of Kfeifan where he studied philosophy and theology. His
ordination to the priesthood took place in 1859, after which he was sent back to St. Maron monastery. His teachers provided him with good education and nurtured within him a deep love for monastic life.

During his 19 years at St. Maron monastery, Charbel performed his priestly ministry and his monastic duties in an edifying way. He totally dedicated himself to Christ with undivided heart to live in silence before Nameless One. In 1875 Charbel was granted permission to live as a hermit nearby the monastery at St. Peter and Paul hermitage. His 23 years of solitary life were lived in a spirit of total abandonment to God.

Charbel's companions in the hermitage were the Sons of God, as encountered in the Scriptures and in the Eucharist, and the Blessed Mother. The Eucharist became the center of his life. He consumed the Bread of his Life and was consumed by it. Though this hermit did not have a place in the world, the world had a great place in his heart. Through prayer and penance he offered himself as a sacrifice so that the world would return to God. It is in this light that one sees the importance of the following Eucharistic prayer in his life:

            "Father of Truth, behold Your Son a sacrifice  pleasing to You, accept this offering of Him  who died for me..."

On December 16, 1898 while reciting the "Father of Truth" prayer at the Holy Liturgy Charbel suffered a stroke. He died on Christmas Eve at the age of 70. Through faith this hermit received the Word of God and through love he continued the Ministry of Incarnation.

On the evening of his funeral, his superior wrote: "Because of what he will do after his death, I need not talk about his behavior". A few months after his death a bright light was seen surrounding his tomb. The superiors opened it to find his body still intact. Since that day a blood-like liquid flows from his body. Experts and doctors are unable to give medical explanations for the incorruptibility and flexibility. In the years 1950 and 1952 his tomb was opened and his body still had the appearance of a living one.

The spirit of Charbel still lives in many people. His miracles include numerous healings of the body and of the spirit. Thomas Merton, the American Hermit, wrote in his journal: "Charbel lived as a hermit in Lebanon---he was a Maronite. He died. Everyone forgot about him. Fifty years later, his body was discovered  incorrupt and in short time he worked over 600 miracles. He is my new companion. My road has taken a new turning. It seems to me that I have  been asleep for 9 years---and before that I was dead."

At the closing of the Second Vatican Council, on December 5, 1965 Charbel was beatified by Pope Paul VI who said:
"...a hermit of the Lebanese mountain is inscribed in the number of the blessed...a new eminent member of monastic sanctity is enriching, by his example and his intercession, the entire Christian people... May he make us understand, in a world largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance, and asceticism,  to liberate the soul in its ascent to God..."

On October 9, 1977 during the World Synod of Bishops, Pope Paul VI canonized Blessed Charbel among the ranks of the Saints.

        "The just will flourish like the palm tree, like

4 posted on 07/23/2004 9:27:42 AM PDT by NYer (When you have done something good, remember the words "without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5).)
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To: Pyro7480

Great picture. Thanks for the ping.

5 posted on 07/23/2004 3:12:55 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Pyro7480

BTTT on his feast day, 7-24094

6 posted on 07/24/2004 6:36:59 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Pyro7480; *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; ...
Saint of the Day Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Saint of the Day Ping List.

7 posted on 07/24/2004 6:39:51 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Pyro7480; NYer

I have a story you two might like. I got married on the 14th and we just got back from our honeymoon.

My wife and I attend daily mass so for our honeymoon we searched for an all-inclusive resort on a beach within walking distance of a church that had daily mass. Finally, we decided on Playa del Carmen in Mexico.

Playa del Carmen roughly translates into "the beach of Our Lady of Mount Carmel". The parish church was Our Lady of Mount Carmel and had mass every night, as well as Eucharistic adoration and benediction on some nights. The church was nice -- it had a great crucifix, statues of Our Lady of Mount Carmel with the child Jesus, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Lady of Fatima, Lourdes, the Little Flower, and of course an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

But there was one statue that stood out from the rest. The statue was larger than life size of a man in a black robe with his hands outstretched as in a blessing. The statue was totally covered in ribbons, hundreds of long colorful ribbons. On each of the ribbons was written a thanksgiving for a miraculous cure brought on by the saint's intercession.

We read a lot of the cures and thanksgivings. Some of them had pictures of the people (usually children) that were cured. The stories were very touching and inspirational, and there were hundreds of them. The statue was of Saint Charbel.

I have no idea why he would be so popular in southern Mexico, but the poor people of that parish have a tremendous love and appreciation for him.

Saint Charbel pray for us.

8 posted on 10/25/2006 1:20:56 PM PDT by Nihil Obstat (viva il papa - be not afraid)
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To: Nihil Obstat; NYer
I have no idea why he would be so popular in southern Mexico, but the poor people of that parish have a tremendous love and appreciation for him.

The "blame" goes to Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. I read about that phenomenon about the same time I first read about St. Charbel. The link for it is - EWTN Q&A: Mexico

9 posted on 10/25/2006 5:37:39 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." - Pope Blessed Pius IX)
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To: Nihil Obstat

Oh, by the way, congratualations on getting married!

10 posted on 10/25/2006 5:38:37 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." - Pope Blessed Pius IX)
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To: Maeve

Ping to post #8

11 posted on 10/25/2006 6:07:53 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." - Pope Blessed Pius IX)
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To: Pyro7480

thanks! He is very popular, many of the little shops had paintings of Saint Charbel. After mass, more people stopped to pray at his chapel than at the Our Lady of Guadalupe image.

12 posted on 10/26/2006 8:08:31 AM PDT by Nihil Obstat (viva il papa - be not afraid)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Nihil Obstat; Pyro7480; sandyeggo
I got married on the 14th and we just got back from our honeymoon.

Congratulations and many blessings on your marriage!

The statue was larger than life size of a man in a black robe with his hands outstretched as in a blessing.

St. Charbel Makhlouf

The stories were very touching and inspirational, and there were hundreds of them.

Saint Sharbel has been healing and curing people for one hundred years or so. Through prayers and belief one could be granted health with Saint Sharbel’s intercession. Hundreds of thousands of people have received grace through this Maronite Lebanese Saint. I believe you will find the following to corroborate your experience.

In 1997, we printed a photo of Saint Sharbel with information about his live and sainthood. We asked our readers to share information in case the Saint helped them get rid of their ailments. Frankly speaking, there was hardly any belief in this miraculous power of healing, especially that the Russian people have become alien to such belief due to the years of religious oppression. However, we were in for a surprise, soon letters started pouring in from all corners of Russia, from Voronezh, Tambov, Penza, Moscow, Ekaterinburg, Kamchatka, Perm, Yakutia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Mahachkala, Kaliningrad, and Tula to name only a few even from the city of Vladivostok which is 12,000 km from the city of Lipetsk. The newspaper received thousands of letters with a request for a picture of Saint Sharbel. In response to this outpouring of demand, Saint Sharbel's portrait was produced five times in the newspaper and three times in a booklet with either five or seven pictures. The booklet contained excerpted translations from letters received by the editorial staff.

Saint Sharbel’s Phenomenon In Russia

I have no idea why he would be so popular in southern Mexico, but the poor people of that parish have a tremendous love and appreciation for him.

As Pyro pointed out, there is a large community of Maronite Catholics in Mexico.

Saint Charbel pray for us.

Father of Truth

(The Last Prayer of Saint Charbel before he died)


Father of truth,

Here is your Son,

The sacrifice in which you are well pleased.

Accept him for he died for me.

So through him I shall be pardoned.

Here is the offering.

Take it from my hands

And so I shall be reconciled with you.

Remember not the sins that I have committed

In front of your Majesty.

Here is the blood which flowered on Golgotha

For my salvation and prays for me.

Out of consideration for this,

Accept my supplication.

I have committed many sins

But your mercy is great.

If you put them in the balance,

Your goodness will have more weight

Than the most mighty mountains.

Look not upon my sins,

But rather on what is offered for them,

For the offering and the sacrifice

Are even greater than the offences.

Because I have sinned,

Your beloved bore the nails and the spear.

His sufferings are enough to satisfy you.

By them I shall live.

Glory be to the Father who sent His Son for us.

Adoration be to the Son who has freed us and ensured our salvation.

Blessed be he who by his love has given life to all.

To him be the glory.


from the Maronite Liturgy.

15 posted on 10/26/2006 9:10:00 AM PDT by NYer (Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to Heaven. St. Rose of Lima)
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To: NYer

great post and what a prayer. God bless you and yours NYer.

16 posted on 10/26/2006 10:14:01 AM PDT by Nihil Obstat (viva il papa - be not afraid)
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To: NYer

BTTT on the feast of St. Charbel Makhlouf, 24 July 2007.

17 posted on 07/24/2007 7:32:44 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: Pyro7480
American Catholic’s Saint of the Day

July 24, 2007
St. Sharbel Makhlouf

Although this saint never traveled far from the Lebanese village of Beka-Kafra, where he was born, his influence has spread widely.

Joseph Zaroun Maklouf was raised by an uncle because his father, a mule driver, died when Joseph was only three. At the age of 23, Joseph joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon, and took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. He professed his final vows in 1853 and was ordained six years later.

Following the example of the fifth-century St. Maron, Sharbel lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. When his superiors occasionally asked him to administer the sacraments to nearby villages, Sharbel did so gladly.

He died in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Christians and non-Christians soon made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1965 and canonized him in 1977.


Pope John Paul II has often said that the Church has two lungs (East and West) and it must learn to breathe using both of them. Remembering saints like Sharbel helps the Church to appreciate both the diversity and unity present in the Catholic Church. Like all the saints, Sharbel points us to God and invites us to cooperate generously with God's grace, no matter what our situation in life may be. As our prayer life becomes deeper and more honest, we become more ready to make that generous response.


When Sharbel was canonized in 1977, Bishop Francis Zayek, head the U.S. Diocese of St. Maron, wrote a pamphlet entitled “A New Star of the East.” Bishop Zayek wrote: “St. Sharbel is called the second St. Anthony of the Desert, the Perfume of Lebanon, the first Confessor of the East to be raised to the Altars according to the actual procedure of the Catholic Church, the honor of our Aramaic Antiochian Church, and the model of spiritual values and renewal. Sharbel is like a Cedar of Lebanon standing in eternal prayer, on top of a mountain.”

The bishop noted that Sharbel's canonization plus other beatification cases prove “that the Aramaic Maronite Antiochian Church is indeed a living branch of the Catholic Church and is intimately connected with the trunk, who is Christ, our Savior, the beginning and the end of all things.”

18 posted on 07/24/2007 9:49:06 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Pyro7480
St. Sharbel Makhluf

Saint Sharbel Makhluf, Priest
Optional Memorial
July 24th

St. Sharbel taking vows as a Hermit
unknown artist



(1828-1898) Saint Sharbel was a Lebanese monk, born in a small mountain village and ordained in 1858. Devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he spent the last twenty-three years of his life as a hermit. Despite temptations to wealth and comfort, Sharbel taught the value of poverty, self-sacrifice, and prayer by the way he lived.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003


Collect: from the Common of Pastors

First Reading: Sirach 3:17-24
My son, perform your tasks in meekness; then you will be loved by those whom God accepts. The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. For great is the might of the Lord; he is glorified by the humble. Seek not what is too difficult for you, nor investigate what is beyond your power. Reflect upon what has been assigned to you, for you do not need what is hidden. Do not meddle in what is beyond your tasks, for matters too great for human understanding have been shown you. For their hasty judgment has led many astray, and wrong opinion has caused their thoughts to slip.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 19:27-29
Then Peter said in reply, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

19 posted on 07/24/2008 8:48:29 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Pyro7480
Vultus Christi

Saint Sharbel Makhlouf

| charbel06.jpg

Back From Miami

Dear readers, I returned this evening from Saint Timothy's Parish in Miami, Florida where, at the invitation of Father Jordi Rivero, I gave a three day retreat to the Community of Love Crucified. Our Lord blessed us abundantly during this retreat. Praise and thanksgiving to His Eucharistic Heart!

Today's Saint

Saint Sharbel the Miracle-Worker has followed me from the earliest days of my monastic journey. I remember learning of his beatification at the close of the Second Vatican Council in December 1965. Saint Sharbel's three inseparable loves, depicted in this image -- the Most Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Word of God -- are the mystical treasure of those who seek, in some way, to follow him in a life of silence and adoration.

Collect from the Missale Romanum 2002

O God who called your priest, Saint Sharbel to the singular combat of the desert and imbued him with every manner of piety, grant us, we beseech you, that by striving to be imitators of the Passion of the Lord we may be found worthy of becoming sharers in his kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

Ex Oriente Lux

Saint Sharbel (also spelled Charbel) of Lebanon is one of those in whom the Holy Spirit fashioned a heart of flesh, a heart exquisitely sensitive to the mystery of Divine Love. The hermit priest Sharbel was beatified by Pope Paul VI on December 5, 1965, at the close of the Second Vatican Council. It was as if Paul VI wanted the Council to end with Rome gazing Eastward.

Another Saint Anthony of the Desert

Just before the beatification, a prelate at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome said to Bishop Francis Zayek, the shepherd of Maronite Catholics in the United States, "Reading about the holy hermits of the desert, we used to consider many reported facts as mere fables. In the life of Blessed Sharbel, however, we notice that these facts are authentic and true. Blessed Sharbel is another Saint Anthony of the Desert, or Saint Pachomius, or Saint Paul the Anchorite. It is marvelous to observe how you, Maronites, have preserved the same spirituality of the fathers of the desert throughout the centuries, and at the end of the nineteenth century, 1500 years later, produced a Sharbel for the Church."

A New Turning

Meanwhile, in Kentucky, a Trappist monk was emerging from a long period of spiritual depression. Thomas Merton had been in the Abbey of Gethsemani for nine years. He wrote in his journal, "Sharbel lived as a hermit in Lebanon -- he was a Maronite. He died. Everyone forgot about him. Fifty years later, his body was discovered incorrupt and in short time he worked over 600 miracles. He is my new companion. My road has taken a new turning. It seems to me that I have been asleep for 9 years -- and before that I was dead." Sharbel, the 19th century hermit of Lebanon, pulled America's most famous 20th century monk out of a spiritual crisis. That is the communion of the saints!

Like a Lebanon Cedar

On October 9, 1977, Pope Paul VI canonized Sharbel, citing the psalm, "The just will flourish like the psalm tree and grow like a Lebanon cedar" (Ps 91:13). The New York Times gave extensive coverage to the canonization in Rome and to the corresponding festivities in Lebanon, days of celebration that brought Orthodox and Catholic Christians together with Muslims.

Holiness in Clusters

Saint Sharbel's influence continues to grow. In Russia he has an immense following of Orthodox Christians. Muslims continue to seek his intercession, going in pilgrimage to his tomb. In Lebanon and in the Lebanese diaspora he continues to teach the way of silence, the way of the Cross, the way of humble love. On May 10th, 1998, Pope John Paul II beatified Saint Sharbel's professor, the monk, Father Nimutallah al-Hardini. Holiness grows in clusters.

A Eucharistic Death

Saint Sharbel suffered a stroke on December 16th, 1898 while celebrating the Holy Liturgy. He was reciting the prayer, "Father of Truth, behold your Son, a sacrifice pleasing to you. Accept this offering of Him who died for me." He fell to the floor holding the Holy Eucharist in his hands. He died on December 24th. Sharbel had lived twenty-three years in solitude. A lifetime of saying "Yes" to Love prepared him for a fully Eucharistic death and an abiding mission in the Church, one that, even today, is prophetic.

20 posted on 07/24/2009 7:21:28 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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