Joseph Makhlouf was born in 1828 at Beqa-Kafra, Lebanon. His peasant family loved a strong faith, were attentive o the Divine Liturgy, and had a great devotion to the Mother of God.
At the age of twenty-three, Sharbel left his loving and closely knit family to enter the Lebanese-Maronite Monastery called Notre-Dame de Mayfouk. Following studies and perpetual profession at St. Cyprian de Kfifane Monastery, he was ordained in 1859.
For the next seven years, Sharbel lived in the mountainous community of d’Anaya. After that he spent the next twenty-three years in complete solitude at Sts. Peter and Paul Hermitage near d’Anaya. He died there on Christmas Eve, 1898.
Sharbel had a reputation for his austerity, penances, obedience, and chastity. At times, Sharbel was gifted with levitations during prayer, and he had great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament.
In all things, Sharbel maintained perfect serenity. He was beatified in 1965 by Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1977.
PRAYER: God, You called St. Sharbel, the Priest, to join the singular combat of the eremitical life and endowed him with every kind of piety. Enable us, we beg You, to imitate the Lord’s Passion and so merit to share in His Kingdom. Amen.