Thought for the Day – 24 July – The Memorial of St Charbel Makhluf
Joseph Makhluf was born in 1828 at 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 23, Charbel (the name he chose when entering Novitiate) left his closely knit family to enter the Lebanese-Maronite Monastery called Notre-Dame de Mayfouk. Following studies and profession at St Cyprian de Kfifane Monastery, he was ordained in 1859.
For the next seven years, Charbel lived in the mountainous community of Anaya. After that he spent the next twenty-three years in complete solitude at Sts Peter and Paul Hermitage near Anaya. He died there on Christmas Eve, 1898.
Charbel had a reputation for his austerity, penances, obedience and chastity. At times, Charbel was gifted with levitations during prayer and he had great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament.
In all things, Charbel maintained perfect serenity. He was beatified in 1965 by Blessed Pope Paul VI and canonised by him in 1977.
The spirit of Charbel still lives in many people. His miracles include numerous healings of the body and of the spirit. Thomas Merton, the American Hermit, wrote in his journal: “Charbel 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.”
At the closing of the Second Vatican Council, on 5 December 1965 when St Charbel was beatified by Pope Paul VI, he said:
“…a hermit of the Lebanese mountain is inscribed in the number of the blessed…a new eminent member of monastic sanctity is enriching, by his example and his intercession, the entire Christian people… 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…”
St Charbel Makhluf, Pray for us!
The Chaplet of St Charbel here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/the-chaplet-of-st-charbel-makhluf/
And listen to this special song too:
and the lyrics here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/thought-for-the-day-24-july-the-memorial-of-st-charbel-of-makhluf/