Eastern Calendar - 7/24
Roman Rite Calendar - 7/24
July 24, is the feast day of St. Charbel Makhluf of Lebanon.
St. Charbel Makhlouf, a Maronite Catholic monk from Lebanon, known for his piety, and called by many the hermit of Lebanon and the Wonder Worker of the East
. Charbel was born Youssef Antoun Makhlouf in 1828, in North Lebanon. His father died when he was only a child, and the boy was raised by his uncle, who opposed Makhlouf's piety. He sneaked away at the age of 23 to join the Baladite monastery of St. Maron at Annaya. This is where he took on the name Charbel (sometimes also spelled Sharbel) in memory of a convert who was martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Trajan in the early 2nd century.
For a time, Charbel was sent to a monastery in Kiffan to study philosophy and theology in preparation for his ordination, which took place in 1853. He then returned to the St. Maron monastery, where for 16 years he performed his ministry and monastic duties with an undivided heart. After 16 years of this, he was granted permission to live as a hermit on a nearby hillside. He lived there in solitude, in total abandonment to the Lord, for the next 23 years, until his death. Many miracles have been attributed to St. Charbel since his death, including a bloody sweat that flowed from his body several times between 1927 and 1950 and the healing of many pilgrims who had visited Charbel's grave or had seen the saint in visions. St. Charbel was canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI. His tomb remains a popular destination for pilgrims, both Lebanese and non-Lebanese, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. St. Charbel is one of the Incorruptibles
, saints whose earthly bodies have not decomposed after death - from the time of the early Church, this has been considered a sign of very great sanctity.
All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index