Saint Charbel (Youssef Antoun Makhlouf) is the first canonized saint from the Middle East. He is known as the Saint of Miracles. Saint Charbel was born to a poor family in Lebanon and drawn to the monastic holy life as a child, following his uncles. Later ordained a priest, he was known as a a holy and comforting soul.
He was struck by an illness when offering Mass on December 16, 1898, and died on Christmas Eve of the same year. Several months after his burial, dazzling bright lights surrounded his grave. His corpse secreted sweat and blood in the grave. Pilgrims from around the world traveled to petition the saint's intercession and were blessed with recovery and spiritual grace.
In 1925, Charbel was proposed for beatification and canonization. His grave was opened and his body appeared as though he had only died that day. This was acknowledged by theologians and physicians alike. After this, the number of pilgrims (of all religions) increased, as did the miracles of healing
Saint Charbel is beloved by many because of he return to faith and the reviving of the virtues of the soul that were brought about simply by his life and death. He is known for so many miracles, including the expulsion of grasshoppers, oil lamps burning and, of course, the healing of the souls and bodies of many patrons. A chapel in Mexico City honors a statue of Saint Charbel. There is a pole filled with ribbons tied by supplicants asking for intersession.
Two medals shown to illustrate front and back.