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Saint Sharbel Makhluf
Saint Sharbel Makhluf

Saint Sharbel Makhluf

Feast Day
Jul 24, 2012
The Faithful
<p>St. Sharbel Makhluf was born in 1828 in Bekaa Kafra in northern Lebanon.&nbsp; He was a Syriac-Maronite Monk and Priest, in the Eastern Church.&nbsp; His influence has spread widely although he never traveled far from his Lebanese Village. &nbsp;</p> <p>St. Sharbel&rsquo;s father died when he was three, and his uncle raised him.&nbsp; He joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon when he was twenty-three.&nbsp; Although his name was Joseph Zaroun Makhluf, he chose the name of Sharbel in honor of a 2<sup>nd</sup> century martyr.&nbsp; He was ordained a Priest in 1859.&nbsp; People sought him out because of his reputation for holiness to seek his blessings or to be remembered in his prayers.&nbsp; He was adamant in following the example of a 5<sup>th</sup> century Saint, St. Maron.&nbsp; Because of this he lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death.&nbsp; He was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and followed a strict fast.&nbsp; Although when he was asked by his superiors to administer the Sacraments to the nearby village, he did so with joy. &nbsp;</p> <p>He died on Christmas Eve in 1898 and not only Christians, but non-Christians made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures.&nbsp; Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1965, and he was canonized in 1977.&nbsp; Pope John Paul II often said that, &ldquo;the church has two lungs, the East and the West and it must learn to breath using both of them&rdquo;. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>St. Sharbel&rsquo;s body is incorrupt to this day and can be seen.&nbsp; He joins a few of the Saints that make up the body of incorrupt saints today.&nbsp; His body shows no sign of any deterioration &ndash; 114 years later!&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p>St. Sharbel helps the Church to appreciate both the unity and the diversity present in the Catholic Church.&nbsp; He was a Saint from the Eastern Church.&nbsp; He points to God and invites us to cooperate with the generous grace of God, no matter what our situation in life may be.&nbsp; He also teaches us that no matter how deep our faith is, as it becomes deeper and honest, we too, can become more ready to make a generous response to God.&nbsp; He is most known to the Eastern Church, which still honors him today by making pilgrimages to his tomb.&nbsp; By taking the advice of Blessed John Paul II, we have proof that the Church has two lungs &ndash; the Eastern Church, and the Western Church. &nbsp;</p>