Saint Sharbel (Charbel) Makhloof
Saint Sharbel was born in 1828 in the small mountain village of Beqa-Kafra, Lebanon. His peasant family lived a strong faith, were attentive to the Divine Liturgy, and had a great devotion to the Mother of God.
At the age of twenty-three, he left his family to enter the Lebanese-Maronite Monastery called Notre-Dame de Mayfouk. Following studies and perpetual profession at St. Cyprian de Kfifane Monastery, he was ordained in 1859.
For the next seven years, Sharbel lived in the mountainous community of Anaya. He then spent the next twenty-three years of his life in complete solitude at Sts. Peter and Paul Hermitage near Anaya. He died there on Christmas Eve, 1898.
Sharbel had a reputation for his austerity, penances, obedience, and chastity. At times, Sharbel was gifted with levitations during prayer, and he had great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament. He celebrated Mass close to noon so as to devote the morning to preparation, and the rest of the day to thanksgiving. In all things, Sharbel maintained perfect serenity. He was beatified in 1965 by Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1977.
“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…”
~Pope Paul VI, October 9, 1977
For further information on St. Sharbel go here.