Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

St. Charbel (Youssef Antoun Makhlouf)

1 posted on 07/23/2004 8:00:53 AM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies ]

To: *Catholic_list; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp IV; narses; ...

Saint Charbel

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.

2 posted on 07/23/2004 8:06:35 AM PDT by NYer (When you have done something good, remember the words "without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5).)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: NYer; All
Saint CharbelYoussef 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 year’s 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.

4 posted on 07/23/2004 8:28:47 AM PDT by NYer (When you have done something good, remember the words "without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5).)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: kosta50; FormerLib; MarMema

Russia ping!

6 posted on 07/23/2004 10:09:34 AM PDT by Pyro7480 (Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix.... sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: NYer
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.

11 posted on 07/24/2008 8:47:31 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: NYer
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.

12 posted on 07/24/2009 7:22:29 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson