Lebanese St. Charbel Makholof is a very powerful saintly intercessor, especially on behalf of the ill or infirm.
Here’s 5 fascinating facts about this amazing miraculous healing saint:
1) He became a monk at 23, a priest at 31, then a hermit at 46
St. Charbel was born Yousef Antoun Makhlouf in 1828 in the mountains of Northern Lebanon. He was raised into a devout Christian family, and was one of five children.
He wanted to become a monk from a young age. He helped his family tend to a small flock, and often took the flock to a grotto to pray before the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This grotto became “his first hermitage and altar of worship.”
When he became a monk of the Lebanese Maronite Order at 23, he took the name “Charbel.” He completely devoted his life to Christ “with an undivided heart.”
2) No one saw his face while he was alive
According to Three Lights From the East by Fr. Mansour Awad, “People never saw his face when he was alive. He always kept his head down in church, at work or when walking, always looking to the ground.
“He would lift his eyes only to heaven. When in church, he always faced the altar with his eyes fixed on the tabernacle. However, when he died and was lying face upward, his eyes were closed, still not looking at anyone, exactly as in his lifetime.”
St. Charbel was extremely devoted to the Eucharist. He suffered a stroke while reciting this prayer on Dec. 16, 1898:
“Father of Truth, behold Your Son a sacrificed
pleasing to You, accept the offering of Him who died for me…”
3) After St. Charbel’s death, a fellow monk “saw a light…circling Fr. Charbel’s body.”
St. Charbel died on Christmas Eve in 1898 before the presence of the Eucharist.
When one of the monks visited the tabernacle at midnight following his death, he saw a light surrounding the tabernacle and St. Charbel’s body...after his body was already transported for burial!
Fr. Mansour Awad wrote in Three Lights From the East that “The body of Father Charbel was in front of the altar.
“The monk saw a light bursting from the door of the tabernacle, circling the body of Father Charbel, easing up to the chandelier above the coffin and back to the tabernacle.”
4) Light illuminated from his tomb
Many people, including Christians and Muslims, reported light illuminating from St. Charbel’s tomb after his death. His body was exhumed multiple times. Church authorities found him completely incorrupt.
A few months after his death, authorities found that “further examination showed that his body transpired blood and water like any living organism.”
Fr. Peter Mishmshany, a St. Maron priest who visited Fr. Charbel while he was ill, and participated in his burial said, “When a light was seen rising over the tomb, witnessed by many people, then the tomb was opened and the body was found to be sound, perfect, incorrupt.”
5) Many healing miracles are attributed to his powerful intercession
St. Charbel is most well-known for his powerful intercession for the sick. Many miracles have occurred through him.
For example, in 1936, Sister Mary Abel Kamary of the Two Sacred Hearts Nuns suffered from an serious internal condition.
Her pancreas, gallbladder and kidney were stuck together, causing uncontrolled vomiting and paralyzation of her right arm. She underwent multiple unsuccessful surgeries.
She endured this intense suffering for 14 years. She vomited everything she ate, her teeth decayed, and she walked with a cane.
After hearing of St. Charbel’s intercession, she asked for his help. He then blessed her in a dream, and she later visited Fr. Charbel’s grave in Lebanon.
“No sooner had she touched the grave tile than she felt a current in her back.
“While she was praying near the coffin, the name of St. Charbel appeared carved on the tile, wreathed with drops of glistening sweat. She wiped it with her scarf and then rubbed it on the afflicted area. Thus she got up and walked, which raised the shouts of joy for her recovery.”
Other alleged healings through St. Charbel’s intercession include healings from cancer, stroke, cysts, and the healing of a premature baby.
Pope St. Paul VI canonized this Maronite saint on Oct. 9, 1977. His feast day is July 24.