Charbel Makhlouf

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Charbel Makhlouf, (also known as Saint Charbel Makhlouf or Sharbel Maklouf), (May 8, 1828 to December 24, 1898) was a Maronite monk and priest from Lebanon. He spent his last 23 years living as a solitary hermit and was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1977. He was known among Lebanese Christians for his miraculous healings in answer to prayers said at his tomb and for his ability to unite Christians and Muslims.

Saint Charbel
Statue of St. Charbel Makhlouf in Faraya, Lebanon and visitors of the monument.

Quotes[edit]

  • Guard your families and keep them from the schemes of the evil one through the presence of God in them. Protect and keep them through prayer and dialog, through mutual understanding and forgiveness, through honesty and faithfulness, and most importantly, through listening. Listen to one another with your ears, eyes, hearts, mouths and the palms of your hands, and keep the roaring of the noise of the world away from your homes because it is like raging storms and violent waves; once it enters the home, it will sweep away everything and disperse everyone. Preserve the warmth of the family, because the warmth of the whole world cannot make up for it.

Love is a Radiant Light: The Life & Words of Saint Charbel (2019)[edit]

  • A man who prays lives out the mystery of existence, and a man who does not pray scarcely exists.
  • Success in life consists of standing without shame before God.
  • Their buildings rise, their morality sinks. Their worldly goods increase, their values diminish. Their speeches multiply, their prayers grow scarce.... An edifice based on man may well rise, but it ends up crushing him.
  • Persevere in prayer without ceasing.. to understand and live according to his will, not to change it.
  • The Father's will is always for your good.
  • Pray to soften heartened hearts, to open darkened minds.
  • By your prayers you can bring down the rain of mercy.
  • Pray in your beds.
  • The family is the basis of the Lord’s plan; and all forces of evil are focusing all their evil on destroying the family because they know that by destroying the family, the foundations of the plan of God will be shaken. The war of the Evil One against the Lord is his war against the family, and the war of the Evil One against the family is the core of his war against the Lord. Because the family is the image of God, from the beginning of the creation of this universe, The Evil one is focusing on destroying the family, the foundation of God’s plan.
  • One does not have to look far to see evidence of Satan’s plan in our world today, as the family is further fragmented and divided in modern culture.
  • Guard your families and keep them from the schemes of the evil one through the presence of God in them. Protect and keep them through prayer and dialog, through mutual understanding and forgiveness, through honesty and faithfulness, and most importantly, through listening. Listen to one another with your ears, eyes, hearts, mouths and the palms of your hands, and keep the roaring of the noise of the world away from your homes because it is like raging storms and violent waves; once it enters the home, it will sweep away everything and disperse everyone. Preserve the warmth of the family, because the warmth of the whole world cannot make up for it.

About[edit]

  • Tradition has it that Charbel showed ample evidence of extraordinary gifts during his life. And so it was, for instance, that he was able to rescue fellow monks from a poisonous snake simply by asking the creature if it would mind going away. There are also tales of clairvoyance and healing associated with his name. Even at his death, on 24 December 1898, it was noted in the Monastery's records that he was expected to remain active after his death. In a dedication to him his obedience was described as 'more angelic than human'. The expectation that the world would be hearing more of Charbel was soon fulfilled: his grave was immediately surrounded by an 'extraordinary brightness', according to a booklet produced by the Monastery about its most famous son. The light only finally faded after 45 days, unlike public interest which continued to wax brightly: pilgrims even tried to steal pieces of his remains, which gave the authorities a reason to open the grave. The body was found floating in mud but was itself completely free from signs of deterioration 'as if it had been buried that same day.' It was noticed that a 'blood-like liquid' exuded from the body -- a phenomenon which can still be seen even now. The liquid is caught in a cloth and, according to the Monastery, has over the years been responsible for many cases of healing.
  • In an article in Nadia Sader described what happened to her when she drank a brew in which oak leaves from Nouhad's tree had been soaked... she was totally paralyzed; she suffered tremendous pain and expected to die at any moment. Her mother-in-law suggested trying the oak leaves which had been blessed by St Charbel... "As I drank the hot liquid, I felt a burning inside... horrible, indescribable... I was howling, screaming, from pain and also from fear. Suddenly I saw the most wonderful scene in my life: I saw the heart of Jesus, red like blood, beating. The heart was all surrounded by light and my children were standing around it. Then I lost consciousness.... People around me saw my right foot making violent movements, rising up and falling down with an unbelievable force. I remember nothing of all of this... I stayed in bed... till the morning of the third day... only then did I know I had been cured, and I was able to walk again normally...Nadia Sader still did not know what to make of it all, wavering between belief and non-belief, even after several more appearances to her of Charbel and Jesus. "I have snatched you from your deathbed, and you still don't believe?" Jesus asked her. Nadia's home became a place of pilgrimage where icons of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and St Charbel exuded oil...
  • On Christmas Eve in 1898, Father Charbel died. His body was interred in the ground without a coffin and without embalming, according to the monk's custom, dressed in the full habit of the order.
  • For the next 45 nights, a most unusual event occurred: According to many local townspeople, an extraordinarily bright light appeared above his tomb, lighting the night sky. Finally, after the mysterious light persisted, officials at the monastery petitioned the ecclesiastical authorities for permission to exhume Charbel's body. When the grave was opened four months after Charbel's death, his body was found to be incorrupt.
  • Strange things happen to Nohad al-Shami. In 1993 her painting of St Charbel began oozing oil. Around the same time the long-dead saint appeared in her dreams. 'I have come to operate on you,' he said. And so he did, curing her of hemiplegia (paralysis of half of the body), she claims. At the mountain-top monastery of Annaya, in north-west Lebanon, a mass is said every month to mark the miracle and to pray for new ones.
  • 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. Charbel's superiors observed God's 'supernatural power' at work in his life, and he became known as a wonder-worker even among some Muslims. In 1875, he was granted permission to live as a solitary monk in a nearby hermitage dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. Rigorous asceticism, and a profound union with God, continued to characterise the monk's life for the next 23 years.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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