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 • Monastery Of St. Maron, Annaya
 • Jabal Lubnan
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Saint Charbel Makhlouf
Birth: May 8, 1828
As Shamal, Lebanon
Death: Dec. 24, 1898
Jabal Lubnan, Lebanon

Saint. Born Youssef Antoun Makhlouf in Bekaa Kafra, north Lebanon, he was raised by an uncle following the early death of his father, a mule driver. Entering the monastery of St. Maron at Annaya at the age of twenty three, taking the name Charbel in honor of a second century martyr, he was taught by Father Nimatullah Hardini, likewise a future saint, at the seminary of Kfifan between 1853 and 1856. Professing his final vows in 1853, he was ordained priest in 1859. Following the example of Saint Maron, Charbel lived as a hermit at the Hermitage of Saints Peter and Paul, a chapel under the care of the monastery of St. Maron from 1875 until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive his blessing and his intercession through his prayers. Following a strict fast, the only occasions in which he left his hermitage was when his Superiors would ask him to administer sacraments in nearby villages. On December 16, 1898, while celebrating mass, Charbel suffered a stroke which led to his death a few days later on Christmas eve. Buried at the St. Maron's monastery cemetery, within a few months later, dazzling lights were seen around the grave, a mystery which aroused not only the attention of the monks but also of the local villagers. This event led to his exhumation, which to the amazement of those present, even though, as the result of frequent rains which had inundated the cemetery several times since the burial, the body, though floating on mud in a flooded grave and despite being buried directly in soil without a coffin, was found to be in a perfect state of preservation. Cleansed and reclothed in fresh garments, he was laid in a wooden coffin and placed in a corner of the private chapel of the monastery for the admiration and contemplation of the monks and the faithful. Hundreds of pilgrims started swarming the place seeking to obtain his intercession. More sentiments followed as liquid, described as perspiration and blood kept being exuded from the pores of his body which had the distinct odour of blood. As a result of this transpiration, the blood-stained clothing upon his person had to be changed twice a week while small pieces of this cloth soaked in this mysterious fluid distributed as relics were said to effect cures. This astounding phenomena became the subject of various studies. Following an autopsy in 1918, the body was exposed on the terrace during the heat of summer for three months without the body decomposing and without drying up the source of the fluid. On July 24, 1927, after the body of Father Charbel was examined by two physicians of the French Medical Institute of Beirut, was clothed in sacerdotal vestments and was placed in a new wooden coffin covered with zinc which was placed in a new tomb specially prepared in the wall of the oratory. The coffin was placed on two stones to prevent contact with the dampness of the soil, and after being carefully sealed with masonry, the tomb was left undisturbed for twenty-three years. On February 25, 1950, pilgrims to the shrine noticed a liquid seeping from a corner of the tomb and flowing onto the floor of the oratory. The father superior of the monastery, on examining the liquid, fearing damage to the contents of the tomb, had it opened in the presence of the assembled community. The tomb was found dry and the coffin in the same condition as when it was placed in position, except that a reddish coloured liquid was seen dripping through a crack in the foot of the casket. Permission to examine the contents of the sealed casket was obtained, and in the presence of many ecclesiastical authorities, officials of the Order and attending physicians, the seal was broken on April 22, of that same year. The body was once again found completely free of any trace of corruption and was perfectly flexible and lifelike. The sweat of liquid and blood continued to exude from the body, and the garments were found stained with blood, the white content of the fluid having collected on the body in an almost solidified condition. Part of the chasuble had rotted and the zinc tube containing the official documents was covered with corrosion. Today, only his bones remain, and these are of a red colour, while the discharge of the fluid has ceased. The cause of his beatification was introduced in 1925. Pope Pius XII signed a decree accepting the proposal in 1954, and Charbel Makhlouf was eventually beatified on December 5, 1965 by Pope Paul VI. The same Pontiff canonized him on October 9, 1977. (bio by: Eman Bonnici) 
Monastery Of St. Maron, Annaya
Jabal Lubnan, Lebanon
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: May 26, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27092257
Saint Charbel Makhlouf
Added by: Eman Bonnici
Saint Charbel Makhlouf
Added by: Eman Bonnici
Saint Charbel Makhlouf
Added by: Eman Bonnici
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