Posted by: fvbcdm | July 24, 2013

Feast of Saint Sharbel Makhluf (24 July 2013)

  1. In 1828, a child was born in Lebanon which was, in those days, under the domination of the Turkish Ottoman empire. He was born to Catholic parents, of whom there are many in that little country. He was baptized Youssouf—Joseph—and at the age of about 20, he entered a monastery near his home. Nearly all of the Catholics of Lebanon belong to the Maronite Rite—one of the so-called eastern rites of the universal Catholic Church just as we belong to the Latin, or western, Rite. After living an exemplary life in the monastery for some years, he asked and received permission to withdraw and live as a hermit for the rest of his life. He died at the age of 70 in 1898, evidently very much in God’s favor, because immediately after his death, a number of miracles occurred concerning his body, his tomb, and other relics pertaining to him. Pope Paul VI canonized him in 1977. Let us use this opportunity to pray for the poor little country of Lebanon which has clung tenaciously to our holy faith for centuries despite its very precarious location. To its north and east, there is Syria, a largely Muslim country. To its south is Israel, a Jewish country with a large minority of Muslims. And to its west is the “deep blue sea.” It is not an easy part of the world to exist in, especially when you’re trying to live our Christian, Catholic faith. Lebanon has been ravaged time and again by Israelis and Syrians, as well as terrorist groups on one side or the other since the tragic outbreak of war in that part of the world after World War II.

    We can pray to Saint Sharbel Makhluf, a holy man of peace, for those who must live in the ancient land of Lebanon, that they may live lives of tranquillity and religious freedom, adoring their Jewish Savior and his most holy mother, who lived just to the south of them in Galilee. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

    Note:  This message was composed some years ago.

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