Born: May 8, 1828 in Bekaa Kafra, North Governorate, Lebanon
Died: December 24, 1898 in Jbeil District, Lebanon
Venerated: Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Beatified: December 5, 1965 by Pope Paul VI
Canonized: October 9, 1977 by Pope Paul VI
Feast Day: July 24
Patronages: none assigned to him
Joseph Makhlouf 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 left his loving and closely knit family to enter the Lebanese-Marionite Monastery called Notre-Dame de Mayfouk. Following studies and perpetual profession at Saint Cyprian de Kfifane Monastery, he was ordained in 1859.
For the next seven years Charbel lived in the mountainous community of d’Anaya. After that he spent the next 23 years in completely solitude at Saints Peter and Paul Hermitage near d’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 Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1977.
REFLECTION: As families gather on Christmas Eve, we are reminded of the many great possibilities for good vested in families of faith and prayer. Saint Charbel Makhlouf reminds us that the greatest Christmas gift parents an give to their children, and brothers and sisters to each other, is prayer, charity and an affirmation of faith in God, His Word, and His invitation to holiness.
PRAYER: Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, today we anticipate the great feast of Christmas. Through the intercession of Saint Charbel Makhlouf, grant us the wisdom to share with our loved ones, Your love, presence, care, and desire that all be with You forever. Amen.
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