Skip to comments.
July 23 - Feast of St. Sharbel - Saint Sharbel’s Phenomenon In Russia
| Anatoli B. Bayukanski
Posted on 07/23/2004 8:00:50 AM PDT by NYer
This article embodies first hand testimonies on the miracles that occurred in Russia at the intercession of Saint Sharbel. The bimonthly newspaper "Lekar" (The Folk Physician) which is published in Lipetsk, Russia, was the first to introduce Saint Sharbel to the Russian readers. Subscribers of this publication reported hundreds cures and healings obtained through Saint Sharbel.
Together with my wife and son, I have been editing and publishing an all- Russia medical newspaper entitled "Lekar" (The Folk Physician) since 1996. The newspaper is published once a fortnight in the city of Lipetsk (500 km southeast of Moscow) and is distributed in 75 of the 89 regions of Russia with a population of about 100 million people. The newspaper has a modest circulation due to the unusual character of its contents which deal with unconventional methods of medical treatment. As editorial staff of "The Folk Physician" we boast of being the first to have introduced the phenomenon of Saint Sharbel to the Russian people.
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 Sharbels intercession. Hundreds of thousands of people have received grace through this Maronite Lebanese Saint. We at the "The Folk Physician" wanted to make known to the Russian people this "means" of getting well.
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.
People are quite right in saying that facts are more eloquent than pretty words. The following is a translation of selected letters written by Russians describing their own testimonies of cures obtained through the intercession of Saint Sharbel. The Folk Physician received over 5000 letters concerning Saint Sharbel and have documented 100 cures until the end of 1999. Even those few which you will include in this article present ample proof that Saint Sharbel is capable of relieving any disease.
II. TESTIMONIES OF MIRACLES IN RUSSIA
The file cabinet has a file labeled "They to whom Sharbel has Rendered Assistance." In this file there are thousands of letters from Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus. Probably, we could compile a thrilling book of letters written by the newspapers readers and telling about miraculous healings through Saint Sharbel of Lebanon. The geographical origins of the letters to the editorial office from thousands of miles away is very impressive. The writers live in places as far away as the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the icy Barents Sea, the Peninsula of Kamchatka and the Caucasus Mountains. It is very likely that the saint monk really was enchanted by God because he was endowed with such a sacred power to heal people irrespective of their place of residence, nationality, or religious convictions. The following testimonies are picked randomly.
"I'm a retired teacher. I'm eager to tell you in what way Saint Sharbel helps me and my family. The saint monk has become a kind of relative of ours. His image is of particular help in relieving pains, and when applied to an aching pancreas, the pains disappear in a matter of a few minutes. Recently, I happened to hurt my hand and a blue swollen mark appeared. I applied the image, prayed, and it was gone in a few minutes. It was a pure miracle. The portrait of Saint Sharbel is also of use with my neurosis. Sometimes I contemplate his image for some time, murmur the Lord's Prayer, appeal to Saint Sharbel for help, beg Jesus to forgive my sins and then thank God and Saint Sharbel for the deliverance from pain." Mrs. V .V. Antoniak, Lipetsk.
Recently, the doctors began considering amputation of my leg which is highly undesirable because of my advanced age. As a long standing subscriber to 'The Folk Physician', I have decided to submit myself to the reviving power of the Lebanese saint. It was with profound faith in a successful outcome that I applied his picture to my sore leg at length, patiently pleading with God and Saint Sharbel to spare me from surgery. Believe me, the non-healing [open] wounds began skinning over [scabbing]. There's no talk of amputation any more. This is why I'm making it public to 'The Folk Physician' that Saint Sharbel whose body is to be found so far from Russia is relieving the sufferings of the Russianpeople at such a long distance." Ivan G. Pokrovsky, a World War II veteran, retired secondary school director, and chairman of the local branch of the disabled persons' organization association gave a public testimony about his miraculous recovery.
"I'm so very grateful to you for the Lebanese saints image. Thanks to it, Ive got rid of nutritional allergy." Tatiana Taganova, City of Tambov, Karbyshev.
"I, Vasina Liubov Petrovna, write this letter on behalf of the inhabitants of our block of flats. I have a daughter twenty years old, who was suffering with severe headaches and I suggested that she should apply the image of the saint which was published in the newspaper 'The Folk Physician'. At first my daughter refused point blank to do so, because she believed neither Tchumak, nor Kashpirovsky who are popular Russian mass media psychotherapists, and she was quite right in doing so. But then she agreed since the headaches became intolerable. Soon she informed me: 'Mummy, I'm feeling warmth in the back of my head as if some evaporation has started'. A half an hour later, the headaches disappeared.
Later, the bottom of my belly ached. I also applied the picture of the saint to the spot and prayed, pleading with God for help by means of Saint Sharbel. The pain lessened and went away. My husband was always mocking me but recently he was experiencing pains in his knee cap. I suggested that he apply the image of Saint Sharbel. Soon the pain subsided. I also would like to add that with the blessed help of the saint, I succeeded in bringing my elevated blood pressure down to normal. On the very day I intended to post this letter to you, my daughter started to feel pain in her left side. You may believe it or not, but our saint helped. I was told that it is not recommended to pass the image of Saint Sharbel on to other sick persons for it is likely to loose its power because diseases heap up, one upon another [sic]. Nonetheless, once I lent this 'medicine' to my neighbor Mrs. Yakovleva. And it did help her as well." The letter above is signed by A. Yakovleva, S. Diakonova, O. Gorbunova, T. Pyatich, Town of Tchaplyghin, Lipetsk region.
"My dear Folk Physician: Thanks to your assistance, I provided four families with pictures of Saint Sharbel and they proved to be very helpful in treatment of different ailments. Here's just an example: "My child was running high temperature. A doctor was not available. I applied Saint Sharbel's portrait and, believe me, in some fifteen minutes the temperature was down. If it is possible, send us one and a half dozens of images of Saint Sharbel from Lebanon." Nina Plotnikova, Matyrsky Settlement, Lipetsk region.
"My mother is 72 years old but she finds help and solace only in the image of Saint Sharbel. The great Sharbel has become her irreplaceable doctor." Mrs.Valentina P. Pisareva, Voronezh.
"The photo of Saint Sharbel has assisted me in recovering from a medium degree brain concussion. It helps relieve heart pain and colds. I have a profound belief in the saint's power." Lykova Raissa Semyonovna, Kirovsk region.
"Last year my daughter-in-law started bleeding. Her hands and feet grew cold. I knelt beside her bed and began praying. Then I placed an image of the saint from Lebanon upon her breast. In half an hour the young woman grew warm. The next morning, she told me that Sharbel's image radiated a powerful stream of warmth
." Tyrina Valentina Michailovna, Matyrsky Settlement, Lipetsk region.
From time to time to come across letters which tell about unusual cases of recovery by virtue of the saint's image. Here's a letter written by Anna Kiseleva from the ancient Russian town of Elets. She had a kid who died. Her husband told her to leave the body laying until tomorrow morning when he will bury it. The woman stayed next to the body and prayed over it and finally placed Saint Sharbel's image upon it and went to bed. In the morning the kid ran up to her bed and woke her up.
"Saint Sharbel rendered assistance to my father who was going to be operated on to remove a malignant tumor. Now he is still with us although his condition seemed hopeless. My daughter suffered from inflammation of the lymph nodes. After applying Saint Sharbel's image, she recovered completely. But I would like to tell in what way the Lebanese saint saved even our tomcat. It was dying. The veterinarian said that there was no sense in treating it. But I laid the cat upon the Saint's image, covered it with another image and sat down beside it while praying for about three hours. The breathing of the animal became regular. That night, our pet ran and climbed up into my bed. The tomcat is still alive. Thank God, Saint Sharbel and you, the employees of the newspaper, which introduced this phenomenon to us, the Russians. God bless you!" Mrs. Natalia Kudiaeva, The Settlement of "Vesyoly", the Rostov region.
"Recently, when I was staying at the hospital, I came across the image of Saint Sharbel in a newspaper. The nurses showed it to us. We became convinced in the healing power of this photo in which Saint Sharbel looked as if he were sleeping. I am writing about what I witnessed. An acquaintance of mine who was very nearsighted (she was not able to read at all without glasses) applied the photo her eyes and, after returning home, she was able to read without her glasses.
Another friend of mine developed a lump from an injection that accidentally struck the bones. She applied the photo to the lump that, in the course of two days, had disappeared.
Another friend, who was having acute pains in the arm above the elbow and was not able to raise her arm, hired two girls to put wallpaper on the walls of her room. However, the night before she applied the photo of Saint Sharbel to her arm. The next morning she was surprise to have been healed and she able to the work herself.
Another friend could not practically see anything from one of his eyes. It was as if a mist covered it. After having applied the photo of the Saint, she can now look out and see with her defective eye. I burst out crying on hearing this from her." Evgenia Nickolaevan Vachrushina, Bashkortostan.
"I intended to take some holy water from the springs in our park, but slipped, fell on my arm and could not get up. The pain was so intense and I became frightened that I might have broken my arm. It took great effort to get home. I was given injections for a few days, the painful area was massaged and ointments ere applied. Unfortunately, the pain did not subside. Then a strange feeling came over me, as if someone prodded my memory of the newspaper at home with Saint Sharbels picture in it. I applied the picture to the painful spot a few times and I definitely felt better. Soon the pain disappeared completely." Mrs. Tchovzhik Irina Petrovna, Shevtchenko, Lipetsk.
"I would like to tell about the miracle associated with Saint Sharbels picture which happened to me. All of a sudden I literally lost the power to use my legs. Namely my left leg was encased in a plaster cast following he surgery performed for transverse platy podia on my big toe. My right foot was sutured after the removal of part of a needle and this foot supported me with the aid of crutches. The sutured area of my right foot became inflamed, swelled, grew red, and started to ooze fluid. It was painful to touch and even more painful when I walked on it. I could only be patient and continue treating it. I covered the suture area with ointment and a piece of paper and then tied the Saints image to that spot. I fell asleep and awoke at daytime, a couple hours later. I removed the newspaper with the Saints picture and the paper wrapping from my foot. I was stunned to see that there were no redness, no welling, and no discharge. I had not felt any pain as well. I thanked God and Saint Sharbel with all my heart. From that moment on, I have never parted with Saint Sharbels image." Mrs. Ivanova, Moskovskaya, Lipetsk.
We debated whether to publish this letter or not. It seemed to improbable to us, however we decided to make it public on the basis that if an adult person, especially a professional nurse, had wished to share it with us, what right have we to reject? The following is the content of that letter:
"I have been working as a nurse for many years and have seen a lot in my professional life. I have always believed only in conventional medicine, particularly in surgery. Forgive me, but I have never believed in cures by saints, and even believed less in cures by their images. Nevertheless, I am a believer and I often attend church. Quite by chance, a fibroid nodule was detected in my breast. I was sent urgently to the oncologist. Perhaps you understand how one feels when facing such a news and challenge. By accident an probably not by accident because nothing in our lives happen by chance I came across Saint Sharbels portrait published in a booklet written by A. Bayukansky. I read it and decided that there was nothing to loose and no harm in trying this remedy. I started placing the picture on the nodule and prayed zealously. For a month, I kept Saint Sharbels image near as I slept. I pleaded with God and appealed to the Saint for help. Believe me or not, a genuine miracle took place. I could hardly believe it myself when I was medically reexamined by ultrasound and various analysis. I heard the doctors exchanging opinions in an agitated way. The senior doctor said: "We are unable to understand what has happened. There is no tumor any more, it has resolved itself." I said nothing to the doctors. But on my return home, I thanked God and Saint Sharbel with all my heart. It is obvious that not everyone is likely to believe me, but his has happened. Maybe the tumor was affected by psychotherapy, but most probably it was removed by the monk Sharbel whose power I now trust infinitely." Ms. Natalia Lependina of Voronezh.
"Thank you very much indeed for bringing to our knowledge the phenomenon of Saint Sharbel, for your sympathy with humanity. I have already written telling you how helpful the Saints portrait is to me, but I have to add something. I had been undergoing treatment for my eyes I was suffering from an opaque lens. Upon completion of the treatment, I visited the doctor. During the examination, I learned that vision in the left eye had improved and the cataract had disappeared. The doctor was at his wits end. He said: "I really dont know to what I should ascribe this spectacular improvement. You have not got a cataract at all, you are just myopic!" I said nothing to the doctor about the portrait of the Saint which had initiated this miracle." Ivalentina Ivanovna, Tambov.
"Saint Sharbel helped me immensely. I was suffering with acute pains in the foot. I did not know in what way to mitigate the pain when quite by chance I came across a picture of Saint Sharbel. The Pain subsided after a single application of the picture on the painful area. I felt better. Consequently, I have applied the picture to my foot for long periods with that the swelling lessened and the pain disappeared. It do not know how explain it but I am thankful with all my heart to Saint Sharbel. His dead body no only sweats but perceives the plight of the sick as well. Accept my gratitude for publishing the photo of hermit who after his death is still doing good for people. God bless you for this act of kindness?"
"I am a retired colonel of the space forces. When I was still in the military service, I took part in the creation of the "Soyuz-Apollo" space systems and the spaceship "Buran." Now, I carry out a treatment of numerous diseases by means of Saint Sharbels image. I even managed to develop my own techniques to treatment. First I concentrate upon one disease, pray to God and plead with him to aid me through Saint Sharbel. Then I proceed with another disease. It is the only way for me because neither medicine nor doctors proved to be any use. I have deep gratitude for this Lebanese monk who is still aiding people after his death." A. N. Besedin, Town of Tchaplygyn.
Three lessons we have learned through this wonderful experience. One is that people will not reveal their ailments openly, however when it is healed, the joy and blessingness urge them to share their miracles with friends and even with strangers.
Second lesson concerns a bit of hype on behalf of some Orthodox Christians in Russia who were disturbed about promoting a Catholic Saint while the Orthodox Church has plenty of its own. The lesson was that Gods gifts of healing are for everyone and that we need to pray and work for the unity of the Church. Maybe Saint Sharbel is uniting the Church in his own way.
Third lesson is that Saint Sharbel emanates power and healing energy and that with faith and prayer one could be healed though his intercession.
TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Orthodox Christian; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
St. Charbel (Youssef Antoun Makhlouf)
posted on 07/23/2004 8:00:53 AM PDT
To: *Catholic_list; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp IV; narses; ...
First Maronite Saint
Within the hearts of Lebanese, St. Charbel holds a special place as Lebanon's first Saint formally acknowledged by the Roman Catholic Church of Rome. He was canonised a Saint on 9th October, 1977.
Named Youssef, he was born on 8th May, 1828 to a modest family from the village of Beqa 'Kafra, which is located at the feet of the Cedars on the northern slopes of Mount Lebanon.
Becoming a Hermit
At the age of 23, Youssef prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help him become a monk and so entered the Manastery of Our Lady of Mayfouq as a novice in the Lebanese Maronite Order of Monks. He was ordained a priest on 23rd July, 1858 and went to Annaya where he spent the next 16 years living in a community with other monks before withdrawing into hermitage.
In 1875, he was granted permission to live as a hermit. For 23 years he lived a life of prayer and work. He displayed piety, honesty and sincerity and his conduct was described by his superiors as more angelic than human. He died at the age of 70, while celebrating Mass in December, 1898.
An Incorruptible Body
After his death, his body remains incorruptible, contrary to all the laws of nature and medicine. The true miracles and great wonders performed by God through the intercession of St. Charbel are the basis of conversions of a great number of people who learned from his exemplary lifestyle and grew in faith of God, who was St. Charbel's only aim in life.
For Us to Follow
St. Charbel's life was marked by a special devotion to the Blessed Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The solitude and example of his life and his immense love of God, induces us in the midst of this restless and materialistic world, to be silent in order to establish within our beings an interior relationship where we meet God and listen to the appeals of God's grace. Each one of us can follow St. Charbel's example from escaping all the things of this world that lead us further from God and the peace and life His loving gives us for our salvation and for His glory.
We learn from St. Charbel that each one of us can be assured of a great reward if we give God priority in our lives and recognise God's presence within ourselves, within others and within the world around us. Without living as hermits, we can learn to distinguish between what brings us closer to God and what separates us from God. We can learn to follow God's goodness and God's path of love, so that we can attain salvation for ourselves and for others through our prayer and good works.
posted on 07/23/2004 8:06:35 AM PDT
(When you have done something good, remember the words "without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5).)
Thanks for the ping NYer! We'll have to post article both today and tomorrow, since today is his feast in the Maronite calendar, and tomorrow is his feast day on the Latin calendar.
posted on 07/23/2004 8:08:18 AM PDT
(Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix.... sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper...)
To: NYer; All
Youssef Antoun Makhlouf was born on May 1828 in a highest village named Bikaakafra situated beside the Cedars of Lebanon from poor respectable and devoted parents. Since his childhood he turns to the Hermitic life and was pushing to the hermits of Kadisha Valley.
In 1851, at the age of 23, he left his family and village for his first years novitiate at the monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouq. He then went to the Monastery of Saint Maroun Annaya to join the Order of Lebanese Maronite Monks where he took the name of Charbel after a second Century martyr of the Church in Antioch. It was there that he took his vows on November 1st 1853 and then continued his theological studies at the monastery of Saint Cyprien of Kfifane Batroun.
The next sixteen years were spent at the monastery of Saint Maroun of Annaya, after which he withdrew definitively to the hermitage of Saint Peter and Saint Paul attached to this monastery. Here he passed a life of constant prayer rarely leaving the hermitage and in all things an exemplary model of sled-denial and sanctity. After twenty-three years at the hermitage, he died on Christmas Eve 1898 and was buried in the cemetery of Annaya.
After his burial (since the first night) the lights appeared and for every night during four months. Then they transferred him to a special coffin, where his body was perspiring blood and water.
Many pilgrims came to pray for their protection and received numerous physical and spiritual cures through his intervention.
The process, for his canonization was opened in 1925. In 1950, the tomb of Father Charbel was opened in the presence of doctors and official committees, who proceeded to verify that the body was intact and free from corruption. With the opening of the tomb, the number of cures of all kinds abruptly multiplied and pilgrims of all confessions and from all parts of Lebanon came to pray to the Holy Charbel.
Within a short time, his miracles knew no frontiers. The thousand of letters and other evidences conserved in the archives at Annaya remain the best witness to the spread of his holy renown. This exceptional phenomenon was the immediate cause of a number of conversions and a great renewal of virtue in the heart of the faithful. The humble tomb became a center of attraction for people of all ages and classes, without any distinction of religion or condition; all them gathered before He Saint are sons of God.
The Beatification and Canonization of Father Charbel.
In 1954, Pope Pius XVII signed the decision of the process for beatification of the hermit Charbel Makhlouf.
On December 5th 1965, Pope Paul VI presided over the ceremony of beatification, which took place at the close of the Ecumenical Council Vatican II.
In 1976, Pope Paul VI signed the decision of the process for the canonization of Blessed Charbel, to be solemnly proclaimed in a pontifical mass on October 9th 1977.
Among the many miracles attributed to the to the intervention of his holy man, the church retained two for his beatification and a third for his canonization.
Prayer to obtain Graces
O God, admirable in your Saints, You who inspired Saint Charbel to follow the way of perfection and gave him the grace and strength in life to prevail in the heroism of the monastic virtues: obedience, chastity and voluntary poverty, and manifested the power of his intercession through numerous miracles and graces, grant us the grace... which we ask of You through his intercession! Amen.
Every year the Church honors Saint Charbel on the third Sunday of July.
posted on 07/23/2004 8:28:47 AM PDT
(When you have done something good, remember the words "without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5).)
We'll have to post article both today and tomorrow, since today is his feast in the Maronite calendar, and tomorrow is his feast day on the Latin calendar.
Cool! Back to back feast days. Just thinking of him makes me smile. Thanks for posting your thread!
posted on 07/23/2004 9:35:49 AM PDT
(When you have done something good, remember the words "without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5).)
To: kosta50; FormerLib; MarMema
posted on 07/23/2004 10:09:34 AM PDT
(Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix.... sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper...)
Very interesting a good post...
posted on 07/23/2004 11:59:37 AM PDT
( BUSH & CHENEY IN 2004 - Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió.)
BTTT on his feast day, 07-24-04
posted on 07/24/2004 6:37:51 AM PDT
(†With God all things are possible.†)
Pray for us, pray for those who suffer today in Lebanon, and pray for their tormentors.
posted on 07/24/2006 8:19:29 PM PDT
American Catholics 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.
posted on 07/24/2007 9:47:34 AM PDT
(Â†With God all things are possible.Â†)
St. Sharbel Makhluf
Saint Sharbel Makhluf, Priest
St. Sharbel taking vows as a Hermit
(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.
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.
posted on 07/24/2008 8:47:31 AM PDT
(Â†With God all things are possible.Â†)
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!
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.
posted on 07/24/2009 7:22:29 PM PDT
(With God all things are possible.)
Saint Charbel Makhlouf
- Also known as
- Joseph Zaroun Makhlouf
- 24 December
- Son of a mule driver. Raised by an uncle who opposed the boy's youthful piety. The boy's favorite book was Thomas a Kempis's . At age 23 he snuck away to join the Baladite monastery of Saint Maron at Annaya where he took the name Charbel in memory of a 2nd century martyr. Professed his solemn vows in 1853. Ordained in 1859, becoming a heiromonk.
He lived as a model monk, but dreamed of living like the ancient desert fathers. Hermit from 1875 until his death 23 years later, living on the bare minimums of everything. Gained a reputation for holiness, and was much sought for counsel and blessing. He had a great personal devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and was known to levitate during his prayers. Briefly paralyzed for unknown reasons just before his death.
Several post-mortem miracles attributed him, including periods in 1927 and 1950 when a bloody "sweat" flowed from his corpse. His tomb has become a place of pilgrimage for Lebanese and non-Lebanese, Christian and non-Christian alike.
- 8 May 1828 at Beka-Kafra, Lebanon as Joseph Zaroun Makhlouf
- 24 December 1898 at Annaya of natural causes
- 1965 by Pope Paul VI
- 9 October 1977 by Pope Paul VI
- Gallery of images of Saint Charbel [2 images, 30 kb]
- Additional Information
- Man of Miracles popup ads
Hermit of Lebanon,
posted on 07/25/2010 2:21:22 PM PDT
("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson