Saint Sharbel Makhluf is a revered figure in the Maronite Church and is widely known for his piety and miraculous healings. He was a Maronite Catholic priest, monk and hermit who is known for working miracles both during his life and after his death. He is the patron saint of Lebanon and has become a symbol of faith and hope for people all over the world.
Born in 1828 in the village of Beqa-Kafra in Lebanon, Sharbel was one of five children in humble circumstances. He grew up in a devout Maronite family and, at the age of 23, entered the Lebanese Maronite Order. He was ordained a priest in 1859 and spent the next sixteen years in various monasteries, living a life of prayer and contemplation.
In 1875, Sharbel moved to the monastery of Saint Maron in Annaya, where he lived as a hermit in a small hermitage and dedicated himself to a life of solitude and penance. He spent most of his time in prayer and meditation, and his reputation for holiness grew steadily.
On December 16th, 1898, Sharbel suffered a stroke while participating in the Divine Liturgy. He was taken to his hermitage, where he died on December 24th, 1898. His body was buried in the monastery cemetery, and soon after his death, stories of miracles began to circulate among the people of Lebanon.
In 1925, his body was exhumed and found to be incorrupt, which further bolstered his reputation as a holy man. In 1965, he was beatified by Pope Paul VI, and in 2004, he was named one of the patron saints of the World Youth Day celebration in Cologne, Germany.
Saint Sharbel Makhluf was canonized by the Maronite Church in 1977, and his feast day is celebrated on July 24th. He is known for his miracles of healing, especially of paralysis and other physical ailments. His intercession is sought by people of all faiths who are in need of physical or spiritual healing.
Saint Sharbel Makhluf's life and legacy has inspired countless people around the world, and his legacy continues to live on today. His message of faith, humility, and devotion to God has touched the lives of people of many faiths.