A riveting talk on St Charbel which deserves a wider audience

Here I am with a relic of St Charbel (1828 - 1898) which is a priceless gift that was given by a generous son of St Charbel who does not want anything in return other than that the relic is venerated. While St Charbel is hailed as a very great Saint, I knew little about his life. My practice of piety came before my study of his life, so when the relic was put in my hands, I blessed myself with the blood-red piece of cloth and prayed a Rosary through the intercession of St Charbel. 

Then like a good Millennial I shopped around on YouTube looking for talks I can listen to while I make my porridge or apply my mascara. There were a few talks that were heartfelt and faith-inflaming in that the speakers believed in St Charbel, but they had meager biographical content. Then I came across this talk by Fay Fayad - a lady from the Lebanon - who speaks intimately about Charbel the wonder worker who was born on her home turf. Fay speaks in an accent much like Charbel would have had, that throaty Arabic timbre but it is mellowed by her maternal personality. Fay told her audience that she is a mother herself and identifies with Charbel's mother who wept for days after her son left to be a monk, and that it tugs at her heart that Charbel gave up his given name: he had been christened Joseph but when he entered monastic life he stripped himself of it because it was an attachment to his mother, she was the parent who had used it most often, since his father died when he was 3 years old.

Joseph was a child mystic. He tended to goats, but while they grazed he went to the base of a hill where he made a little shrine in honor of Our Lady, prayed the Litany of the Virgin Mary and burnt incense before her picture. It was here at the age of 14 that he heard a voice instruct him, "Leave everything and follow Me, I am the Christ."

There were also competing voices from the demonic, and when he left for seminary, a voice perturbed him, "What are you doing? You are leaving the people who love you? You are giving up your freedom, you are giving up the things of this world?"

I learned all the above and so much more from listening to Fay Fayad's talk and Charbel's life became real for me - I could see his home through her eyes, the hills and mountains of Lebanon are clearly playing in her memory as is the local character of the people who formed Charbel. The talk, however, at this time of typing has less than 300 views. Let's rectify that - you may share the talk - with anyone who needs a sound introduction to Charbel. I am sharing it with a nun friend of mine whose hand got a bad burn when she was cooking, which is no fun in England which is having a sizzling summer where temperatures are cooking the mussels on the rocks by the sea. Her hand is showing no signs of healing. St Charbel, pray for her.


Comments

  1. While struggling to find a tradition-minded church in which to baptize my first son, I leaned on the Maronite community, the few safe priests I could find in my West Coast US city. The Church was St. Charbel's, and I learned much about him many years ago. That son of mine and his brother, my only children, remain Catholic and are raising their children in the Traditional Faith. I thank St. Charbel for that start, and hope he continues to pray for us.

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    1. Congratulations, Mary Kay, on bringing up your two boys in the Traditional Faith, I'm so glad they have inherited it and are passing it on. God bless you and yours

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