Charbel.org - Saint Charbel, a Saint from Lebanon
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Life of Saint Charbel Also Read The Call of the Desert
 
From the Church of the Hermitage to the Church of the Monastery
From the book, Three Lights From the East, by Father Mansour Awad.

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The Body of Father Charbel by Itself

A lengthy investigation was made to determine whether any other bodies buried in the tomb at St. Maroon’s Monastery of Annaya had ever been preserved from corruption. The fact that there are no records or witnesses of contempories indicates that previously buried bodies were not incorrupt. The records of the monastery began in 1828. It has been proven that the first burial was made on June 15, 1839. The number of monks, hermits and brothers who died before Charbel was thirty-two. The last burial before Charbel was Father Elias Mishmshany who died on Feb. 12, | 1897. Those who died after Charbel were buried in the same tomb numbered twenty-one. The last, up to now, (1952) was buried on May 25, I 1948.

All these bodies decayed naturally and only clear bones remained. Among these dead were men known for their great virtues and tremendous holiness. One such hermit was Father Hardini who taught Father Charbel and who was recognized by all as reaching a heroic degree in the practice of virtue. Yet, when Father Charbel was buried, all that was found in the grave were the bones of the decease’s religious. When the tomb was opened again, only Charbel's body remained intact. There was another difference as well. When first buried, the body of Charbel was not perspiring blood and water. Now, after the opening of the tomb, the body was found exuding a blood-like perspiration. Of course, this was unnatural.

No doubt, the hand of God was responsible because the natural law, the law of, corruption of the body after death, did not apply to this body up to the present time. It was so from the year of 1898, when Father Charbel died, to 1952, when this book was written. To stop the effect of the natural law is something that God alone can do, since He is the Lord of nature. He gives orders to the elements, and they obey.

The fact that this body remained incorrupt is a sign that came from God to reward Charbel for his saintly and miraculous life. It is a call to all mankind to know God, the Father, and His only Son Who became Man, and His Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from both of Them, Who is consubstanial to Them, a call to love Him, to adore Him as one God and to thereby inherit His Kingdom. This was an example for all the monks and the hermits of the Baladite Order to imitate Father Charbel in observing their religious vows, and to be like him, a light on the mountain of Annaya, on the mountain of Lebanon, a light for all the East and the West.

On the evening of his funeral, his superior wrote:" Because of what he will do after his death. I need not talk about his behavior." A few months after his death a bright light was seen surrounding his tomb. The superior opened it to find his body still intact. Since that day a blood-like liquid flows from his body. Experts and doctors are unable to give medical explanations for its incorruptibility and flexibility. In the year 1950,1952 and 1955 his tomb was opened and his body still had the appearance of a living one.

The spirit of Charbel still lives in many people. His miracle include numerous healing 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 covered incorrupt and in a short time he worked over 600 miracles. He is my new companion. My road has taken a new turning. It seems to meet that I have been asleep for 9 years---and before that I was dead."

At the closing of the Second Vatican Council, on December 5, 1965 Charbel was beatified by Pope Paul VI who said:

"...A hermit of the Lebanese mountain is inscribed in the number of the blessed ...a new eminent member of monastic sanctity is enriched, 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 it's ascent to God…"

The example and life-style of Charbel, hermit and saint, inspire the people of God to seek a desert of silence and solitude in this materialistic world of noise and loneliness.

On October 9, 1977 during the World Synod of Bishops, Pope Paul VI canonized Blessed Charbel among the ranks of the saints.

"The just will flourish like the palm tree, like the Cedar of Lebanon shall he grow." (Psalm 92:13)


Sections: 1  2  3  4  5  6   |   << Previous :: Next >>

From the Church of the Hermitage to the Church of the Monastery
From the book, Three Lights From the East, by Father Mansour Awad.
 
Also Read The Call of the Desert
+  Charbel.org  Home + Life + Miracles + Photos + Links  + Hardini.org + Rafca.org + Maroun.org +

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