St. Charbel Makhlouf was born in 1828 in Lebanon. He was the youngest of five. His father was taken from their family and forced into labor, and died when Charbel was 3.
Charbel tended his family’s cow and studied at the parish school. He spent many hours contemplating God, and left home in 1851, contrary to the plans of his uncles and his mother.
He made a pilgrimage on foot to a monastery, and took his monastic vows in 1853. He then became a priest, and lived in the Monastery of St. Maron for 19 years. His superiors witnessed the power of God at work in Charbel’s life, and he had a reputation as a wonder-worker among Muslims.
In 1875, Charbel began to live as a solitary monk, and remained at a hermitage dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul for the next 23 years. He had a stroke while celebrating the Divine Liturgy of the Maronite Church in December of 1898, and died on Christmas Eve. Since his death, many have made pilgrimages to his tomb, and hundreds of miracles are attributed to him.
Pope Paul VI canonized St. Charbel in 1977.