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July 24

St Charbel Makhlouf - July 24

Saint Charbel Makhlouf

“Miracle Monk”, Mystic

(1828- 1898)

“Every person is a lamp made by the Lord to shine and give light.

Saint Charbel Makhlouf

Saint’s Life Story

Fatherless as a Youth 

Youssef (Joseph) Antoun Makhlouf was born on May 8, 1828, in the small mountain village of Beqa-Kafra, Lebanon, the highest elevation in the country.  Charbel was one of five children born to his father, Antoun Zaarour Makhlouf, who was a mule driver, and his mother, Brigitta (née Chidiac). When Charbel was three, his mother became a widow when his father died returning from corvée (free forced labor) for the Turkish army.  

Tended Sheep

His family was poor, but pious and had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother. As a child, Charbel tended the sheep in the fields, where he built an outdoor shrine to Our Lady, spending hours in prayer. As he matured, Charbel also spent time reading Scriptures and Thomas a Kempis’s “The Imitation of Christ”, which was was his favorite book.

Entered Monastery

At the age of twenty-three, Charbel left his family to enter the Lebanese-Maronite Monastery, Notre-Dame de Mayfouk, in Mayfouk, Lebanon – about 40 miles north of Beirut. Later, Charbel transferred to the Monastery of St. Maron monastery in Annaya. He received his religious habit and  took the name Charbel (Sharbel) in honor of a second-century martyr. Charbel was ordained in 1859. The priest-monk lived and served in the monastery for 19 years, showing great devotion to the life of prayer, manual work, and contemplative silence.

Miracle-Worker

Charbel was known for his mortification, obedience, and chastity. He was gifted with  occasional levitations during prayer, and he had great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament. Charbel celebrated Mass close to noon so as to devote the morning to preparation, and the rest of the day to thanksgiving. In all things, Charbel maintained perfect serenity. His charity and kindness endeared him to all, both Christians and Muslims. His tomb has been a site for pilgrimages since his death. Numerous healings of the body, heart and mind have been obtained through his intercession. Hence, Charbel is known as the Miracle-Worker.

Life in Solitude Before His Death

Charbel spent the last twenty-three years of his life in solitude at a hermitage near Annya. Charbel 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.” Charbel fell to the floor holding the Holy Eucharist in his hands. and he died on Christmas Eve, 1898 in the Monastery of Saint Maron, Lebanon.

St Charbel Makhlouf's Mattress and Pillow Stained by a Blood and Sweat Mxture Issued from his incorrupt body exhumed in 1899, 1927, and 1950
St Charbel Makhlouf’s Mattress and Pillow Stained by a Blood and Sweat Mixture issued from his incorrupt body exhumed in 1899, 1927, and 1950. 
Several post-mortem miracles are attributed him. His tomb has become a place of pilgrimage for Lebanese and non-Lebanese, Christian and non-Christian alike.

Second St Anthony of the Desert

When Charbel was canonized, Bishop Francis Zayek, head of the U.S. Diocese of St. Maron, Bishop Zayek wrote: “St. Charbel 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. Charbel is like a Cedar of Lebanon standing in eternal prayer, on top of a mountain.”

Beatified:           December 5, 1965 by Pope Paul VI

Canonized:        October 9, 1977 by Pope Paul VI

Feast Day:         July 24

Patron Saint:    Lebanon

Source:

Reflection

Do you think that if you don’t live a busy, exciting life full of glamourous travel or a powerful job that your life is not meaningful or productive? Saint Charbel Makhlouf lived a quiet simple life filled with the love for the Eucharist. He led a meaningful life through prayer and solitude developing his holy relationship with God. Like Saint Charbel Makhlouf, you can live a simple less “exciting”, but meaningful life by having a good relationship with God through quiet prayer times.

How is your relationship with God? Since you can always improve relationships, what can you do today to improve your relationship with God?

Prayers

Saint Charbel Makhluf, you reminds us of the importance of prayer and solitude for the development of holiness. Prayer and solitude can, as they did for you, deepen our relationship with God and help us to become better people. Saint Charbel Makhlouf, may you intercede for us in prayer that we improve the quality of our time with the Lord. Let us grow in our faith by regularly setting aside some time in our day as a respite from our busy schedule to include some time for prayer and solitude with God.

Saint Charbel Makhlouf, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

Aleteia – How to protect your family from the devil, according to St. Charbel Makhlouf

Catholic Exchange – St. Charbel Makhlouf Wants to Pray for You

Catholic Fire – St. Sharbel (Charbel) Makhlouf, Miracle-Worker

Catholic Ireland – Jul 24 – St Charbel (or Sharbel) Makhluf (1828-98) Lebanese priest and monk

Catholic News Agency – St. Charbel Makhlouf Feast Day: Jul 24

Catholic Online – St. Charbel

CatholicSaints.info – Saint Charbel Makhlouf

Franciscan Media – Saint Sharbel Makhlouf

Newman Ministries – Saint Sharbel Makhlouf

Saints, Feast, Family – Saint Sharbel Makhluf’s Story

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Charbel Makhlouf (1828-1898)

Wikipedia – Charbel Makhlouf

Video Link

St. Sharbel Makhlouf – YouTube Video (Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – USA)