- Historical event
- 24 December 1898
- There was a series of miraculous healings associated with Saint Charbel Makhluf. He was proclaimed blessed of the Catholic Church in 1965, and Venerable Pope Paul VI declared him a Saint in 1977.
Saint Charbel Makhluf, an interesting Maronite monk and saint of the Catholic Church, died on Christmas Eve 1898. The Maronites are believers who live mainly in Lebanon and recognize the Pope as their supreme leader. Today the Maronite Church has millions of believers, and is headed by the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch. The present-day Patriarch is Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, and he is also a cardinal of the Catholic Church (Pope Benedict XVI named him a cardinal in 2012).
By the year of his birth – 1828 – Saint Charbel Makhluf was a contemporary of Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy. He was born in what is now Lebanon – in Bekaa Kafra. It is one of the highest settlements in the entire Middle East, at an altitude of nearly 1,650 meters. At the time of Saint Charbel Makhluf, this area belonged to the Ottoman Empire. The largest part of his life, Saint Charbel Makhluf was a monk and a hermit. He spent many years in the monastery of Saint Maron in Annaya near the town of Byblos (north of Beirut). He lived in strict asceticism. On this day in 1898 he died at the age of 70. There was a series of miraculous healings associated with Saint Charbel Makhluf. He was proclaimed a Blessed of the Catholic Church in 1965, and Pope Paul VI declared him a Saint in 1977. Today he is esteemed around the world, even as far as Mexico, Brazil, and Australia.