WE WELCOME THE RELICS OF ST. SHARBEL, PRIEST, MONK AND HERMIT,
TO OUR PARISH OF ST. JOSEPH’S, 1102 WALNUT STREET, OLEAN, NEW YORK, ON THURSDAY, THE 12TH OF MAY, 2016
The Schedule for the visitation day, May 12TH, is as follows:
1:00 to 8:30 p.m., silent prayer to the Lord and veneration of the relics
2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Mystery of Penance (confessions heard)
3:00 to 3:30 p.m., Little Office of St. Sharbel Prayer Service
6:00 p.m., Rosary
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Divine Liturgy
7:30 p.m., blessing with relics and anointing with holy oil
For further information, see contact details on this web site.
Saint Sharbel Maklouf was born to a pious family on May 8, 1828 in Bekaa Kafra, Lebanon. In 1851, he entered the Lebanese Maronite Order at the Monastery of Our Lady in Mayfouq, Lebanon. He took his vows as a monk on November 1, 1853 at the Monastery of Saint Maron in Annaya, Lebanon. Saint Sharbel studied philosophy and theology at the Monastery of Saints Cyprian and Justina in Kfifane, Lebanon. Among his professors was Father Nimatullah Kassab, from Hardine, Lebanon, who was declared a Saint in 2004. Saint Sharbel was ordained a priest on July 23, 1859 in Bkerke, Lebanon. Following ordination, he returned to the Monastery of Saint Maron in Annaya, Lebanon, where he lived in community with the monks. Saint Shabrel lived his monastic vows seriously, practicing a strict life of prayer, penance, fasting, and mortification. In 1875, Saint Sharbel was given permission to enter the Hermitage of Saints Peter and Paul. In the hermitage he lived a solitary life of asceticism and prayer. Saint Sharbel died on December 24, 1898 after a brief illness. He was buried at Saint Maron’s Monastery in Annaya, Lebanon.
The earthly remains of Saint Sharbel are a testament to his holiness. Shortly after his death, in 1898, a bright light surrounded his tomb. When his grave was opened his body was found still intact. It continued to perspire and bleed. When the tomb of Saint Sharbel was opened for his beatification in 1965, his body was still intact! It was not until 1976, when his tomb was opened prior to his canonization, that his body had finally decayed and only his skeleton remained.
The relic is a small portion of the saint’s earthly remains, venerated by the faithful as an object in which the glory and power of God has shown forth.
On December 5, 1965, at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, Saint Sharbel was beatified by Blessed Pope Paul VI. He was canonized, declared a Saint, on October 9, 1977, by Blessed Pope Paul VI, at the Vatican. The Church celebrates his feast annually on July 23RD our Maronite Liturgical Calendar and on July 24th in the Calendar of the Roman Church.
Since his death in 1898, countless healings and miracles have occurred through the intercession of Saint Sharbel. The recipients of miracles through his intercession are not only Catholics or Christians. Miracles through the intercession of Saint Sharbel have been given to people of all faiths. As his devotion spread across the world, miracles through his intercession have occurred across the globe. They even continue to the present. All who are sick and in need of healing are especially invited to come and pray before the relics of Saint Sharbel, seeking his most powerful intercession for their needs.