Thursday, July 24, 2008
Saint Charbel Makhlouf
Today is the feast of Saint Charbel. A note is that a friend of mine who was born and raised in Lebanon said it is pronounced SHAR-bel with the emphasis on the first syllable.
Anyway, from a Latin Church perspective, Saint Charbel is probably the best known Saint of the Maronite Church. This is the Church around the area of Lebanon, whose rite comes from Saint Maron. It is the only Eastern Church that did not go into schism in all the conflicts between the East and West, and remained in union with Rome. It should be noted that his feast day was added to universal calendar as an optional memorial in the 2002 Missale Romanum.
Saint Charbel was Maronite monk who lived in the early to mid 19th century. I think what draws me to him is the fact that he led a simple monastic and heremetical life. He lived in community for about 19 years, then as a hermit for 23 years. Prayer, penance, and work were what made him a Saint.
His monastery now has a website (if the music gets to be too much, go to the lower left corner of the page and click on the moving vertical bars):
Saint Maron-Annaya Monastery