known as Joseph Zaroun Makhlouf
Memorial 24 December
Profile Son of a mule driver. Raised by an uncle who opposed the boy's
youthful piety. The boy's favorite book was Thomas a Kempis's The Imitation of
Christ. At age 23 he snuck away to join the Baladite monastery of Saint Maron
at Annaya where he took the name Charbel in memory of a 2nd century martyr. Professed
his solemn vows in 1853. Ordained in 1859, becoming a heiromonk. He lived as a
model monk, but dreamed of living like the ancient desert fathers. Hermit from
1875 until his death 23 years later, living on the bare minimums of everything.
Gained a reputation for holiness, and was much sought for counsel and blessing.
He had a great personal devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and was known to levitate
during his prayers. Briefly paralyzed for unknown reasons just before his death.
Several post-mortem miracles attributed him, including periods in 1927 and 1950
when a bloody "sweat" flowed from his corpse. His tomb has become a place of pilgrimage
for Lebanese and non-Lebanese, Christian and non-Christian alike.
8 May 1828 at Beka-Kafra, Lebanon as Joseph Zaroun Makhlouf
24 December 1898 at Annaya of natural causes
by Pope Paul VI
Canonized 9 October 1977 by Pope Paul VI
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