St Charbel beatification and canonisation miracles which allowed him to be a saint.
The Catholic Church has a stringent procedures and guidelines to approve miracles by a person who has healed another person who is sick, disabled or dying. The following miracles performed by St Charbel were approved by the Catholic Church to allow St Charbel to become a saint.
Beatification : Miracle 1
St charbel heals Sister Marie Abel Kamari in Annaya, Mount Lebanon.
Sister Marie Abel Kamari comes from the village of Hammana in Mount Lebanon. She joined the Congregation of the Two Holy Hearts in Bikfaya in Mount Lebanon at the age of 16 on the 8th of September 1929. Sister Marie had always enjoyed good health but in the 1936 she began to suffer from pains in the stomach and abdomen and could not bear to eat any food of any kind. The doctors were unable to offer any help to Sister Marie because the treatments did not give her any relief and for several months she continuously vomited.
During the summer of 1936 Sister Marie’s condition became much worse. She was treated in Hammana in Mount Lebanon by an Egyptian doctor, Dr Marahel who specialised in stomach and abdominal pains and diagnosed Sister Marie with an ulcer and ordered an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. Sister Marie was prescribed medicine but it had no effect so she went to consult with Dr Elias Ba’aklini, a well-known surgeon. Dr Elias cleaned out her stomach several times with a stomach pump but this brought no relief. Dr Elias finally performed surgery which lasted several hours and revealed a large ulcer and also the liver, bile duct and one kidney were no longer functioning normally.
The Doctor left the incision open to drain and to allow treatment of the ulcer. Once the wound had healed, the stomach and abdominal pain returned and Sister Marie condition became very bad. The doctors had another meeting and concluded that another operation was needed. The operation was then carried out which resulted in disaster. Sister Marie’s intestines and stomach were not functioning normally and the reappearance of an oversized polyps. It was not possible to remove a small part of this polyps without endangering Sister Marie’s life. In addition to Sister Marie’s pain was the bile duct was producing a liquid which was causing constant nausea.
For the next fourteen years Sister Marie suffering increased. During the first four years Sister Marie was only able to walk within the confines of the convent and ate very little which she eventually vomited after every meal. Sister Marie became more and more weak and experienced pain in every part of her body.
In 1942, Sister Marie became increasingly more bed ridden with new symptoms appearing and her right hand became paralysed. She was only able to walk with a walking stick which she used to attend Mass and she was also supported by another sister. Furthermore, Sister Marie’s teeth began to fall out and the doctors advised her that she was unlikely to live much longer and she was given her last rites. At this moment, Sister Marie was told by various people about Father Charbel (St Charbel) miracles and advised her to pray to him to heal and cure her from her illness.
Therefore Sister Marie prayed to Father Charbel (St Charbel) the following prayer to heal her: “Allow me, if you wish to cure me, to let me see you in a dream”. That same night Sister Marie saw Father Charbel (St Charbel) in her dream. In her dream, Father Charbel (St Charbel) was kneeling in a small chapel with his arms outstretched with Sister Marie also praying and kneeling in the same chapel. The tapers and light suddenly glowed brightly and at this very moment Father Charbel (St Charbel) was blessing Sister Marie with his outstretched arms.
On Tuesday 2nd of July 1950 at 9:40 am, Sister Marie woke up from her dream and immediately left the Congregation of the Two Holy Hearts in Bikfaya, Mount Lebanon and headed to the St Maroun Monastery in Annaya, Mount Lebanon. This monastery was were Father Charbel (St Charbel) used to pray, labor, meditate and sleep.
Sister Marie was accompanied by Sister Isabelle Ghourayeb (Superior of the Convent in Jbeil), Sister Bernadette Nafah (teacher in the convent in Bikfaya) and Sister Marie Mathilde Zambaca. The sisters drove Sister Marie to Annaya in Mount Lebanon and carried her to the tomb of Father Charbel (St Charbel). They lifted Sister Marie’s chair so she can touch and kiss the tomb. The moment Sister Marie placed her lips on the tomb she felt an electric shock passing down her spine. After praying next to the tomb, the sisters took Sister Marie inside the monastery to rest. After resting for a while, the sisters took Sister Marie to pray next to the old coffin which Father Charbel (St Charbel) used to stay in.
That evening, Sister Marie requested to Sister Isabelle if she can be allowed to spend the night beside the tomb of Father Charbel (St Charbel). The sister replied, “There are so many sick people here, you will never be able to sleep. You may stay another day”.
The next morning, Sister Marie was carried to a small Chapel in the St Maroun Monastery where she heard three Masses besides the tomb of Father Charbel (St Charbel). Sister Marie prayed, received Holy Communion and fervently recited the prayer for the sick. Her eyes looked to the spot where Father Charbel (St Charbel) name was engraved on the tomb and she noticed that it was covered with drops of shining sweat. Sister Marie could not believe her eyes, so she quickly staggered and limbed to the tomb to see if it was true. The shining sweat was clearly viable so Sister Marie took out her handkerchief and wiped the shiny sweat off the tomb. Sister Marie said to herself, “These drops of shiny sweat are a gift from Father Charbel (St Charbel)”. Sister Marie immediately rubbed the handkerchief with the shiny sweat on the sore places on her body.
As soon as Sister Marie had done this, without thinking, she got up from her chair and walked in front of everyone. The people in the small chapel were shocked and amazed of what just occurred and the Church bells immediately began to ring out to celebrate the miracle and to glorify God and Father Charbel (St Charbel). Among the many witnesses in the small chapel were five Jesuits which were Fathers Capello, Father Koniski, Father Agia, Brothers Mahir and Brother Philippe. They were all in absolute awe and disbelief in Sister Marie’s miracle performed by Father Charbel (St Charbel).
Here are the medical certificates produced by Sister Marie’s doctors to confirm her illness and medical condition:
Medical certificate : Number 1
I, the undersigned, Dr Ibrahim Abi Haidar from Hammana, certify that in 1936 Sister Marie Abel, from the religious order of the Two Sacred Hearts, suffered from pyloric ulcers which resulted in her inability to keep down any nourishment. She underwent two operations but the relief she obtained was only temporary.
In 1944, I visited her in the convent of the Jesuit Sisters, in Bikfaya. I found her bed-ridden, unable to rise and in a critical condition. I judged her disease incurable.
Her unexpected recovery after she visited the tomb of Father Charbel, the hermit, I consider to be miraculous, a supernatural event which surpasses all human explanation. It comes from the will of God of whom Sister Marie is a pious worshipper. I solemnly swear, on my honour, that this declaration is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
22 July, 1950 Signed: Dr. Ibrahim Abi-Haidar
Medical certificate : Number 2
I, the undersigned, Dr. Albert Farhat from Hammana, advisor to the Court of Appeal in Beirut, certify that Sister Marie Abel is a member of my family in Hammana. Suffering from an illness for more than twelve years, she was consequently paralysed, unable to move from her bed. The doctors assured me that the illness was incurable. After a visit to the tomb of Father Charbel, she returned completely well, walking and eating normally.
When she returned to her family in Hammana, many people flocked to her house to see this miracle for themselves. She told us quite willingly what had happened.
In witness whereof I have delivered this certificate
Signed the 19th July, 1950 in Hammana, Dr. A. Farhat.
On the day that the miracle occurred, Father Agia was present at the Monastery of St Maroun, Annaya. He knew very well that Sister Marie Abel had been suffering dreadfully for the past fourteen years and that her condition was hopeless. But on this day, she was unrecognizable. Her ardent emotions brought tears to his eyes. Without thinking, he mounted the steps to the altar to speak to the gathering and in a moving address, gave a detailed account of her arduous journey. He described her frightful illness and the inability of even the best doctors to cure her. The priest concluded his brief talk with these words:
“Without a doubt, Sister Marie Abel’s cure is due to some supernatural phenomenon desired by God and obtained by the intervention of His servant, Father Charbel, the great pride of the Maronite people and of the Orient which God has deigned to honour by His prophets, the Incarnation of His Son, the Holy Virgin and the many saints and pious hermits.”
Never had Father Agia been so enthusiastic, excited and glowing as he was on that day. The listeners were inspired by the eloquence of the speaker and responded with tears of joy and consolations which shone in their eyes.
Beatification : Miracle 2
St Charbel heals Iskandar Obeid in Baabdat, Mount Lebanon.
Iskandar Obeid worked as a blacksmith and lived in Baabdat, Mount Lebanon. He had lost his sight of one eye resulting from a blow to the eye during work. Dr T. Salhab declared that the pupil had been destroyed due the work accident.
Iskandar went to the French Hospital, Sacred Heart, in Beirut to do further tests and examinations. Dr Nakarier advised Iskandar to go home, lie down and rest for seven days. Iskandar came back to the hospital after seven days to do a repeat test and examination. The results showed that there was no improvements to Iskandar’s eye so Dr Salhab imposed an additional two weeks rest for Iskandar however this brought no change to the sight of his eye.
Dr Salhab and Dr Nakarier then advised Iskandar to do surgery to remove his eye to prevent any infection from passing to the other eye. Iskandar said to the doctors he needs some time to decide what to do regarding his eye. Several months passed and Iskandar never got back to the doctors for a final decision regarding his eye. In this time Iskandar never stopped praying, attending mass and receiving Holy Communion on a daily basis.
One night, in a dream, Iskandar saw a monk who spoke to him and said, “Go to the monastery and you will be cured”. Therefore, when Iskandar woke up from his dream he went immediately to St Maroun monastery in Annaya, Mount Lebanon. This monastery was were Father Charbel (St Charbel) used to pray, labour, meditate and sleep. Iskandar spent the night in prayer and remained near Father Charbel (St Charbel) tomb. The following day Iskandar heard Mass, received Holy Communion and then returned home.
When Iskandar returned home he began to feel pain in his injured eye and the pain further increased two days later to the point of unthinkable pain and torture. Iskandar always repeated to his friends and relatives with confidence, “I shall get well, God willing, for this pain that I feel is a sign.” The pain increased again and Iskandar’s family begged him to see a doctor for treatment and medicine. Iskandar refused and said,” from now on Father Charbel is my only doctor”.
Iskandar finally went to sleep about four o’clock in the morning after his pain reduced slightly. During his sleep, Iskandar dreamed that he was being lead to the door of St Moses Monastery which belonged to the same order as Father Charbel (St Charbel). Iskandar was given the task of unloading a truck at the monastery. While unloading the truck, the driver plunged an iron bar into Iskandar’s eye and then pulled the eye out and threw it onto the ground. Iskandar cried out in terrible pain and said, “Oh, you have drawn out my eye, Michael”. Iskandar suddenly woke up from his dream. His wife was frightened to see him in such a worried state and she said “Why are you crying out like that?”. Iskandar said, “It’s nothing, cover me up, I feel so cold”.
Iskandar fell asleep again and dreamed he was standing in front of the same monastery of St Moses. A monk appeared and asked Iskandar what was troubling him. Iskandar responded, “My eye is so sore”. The monk replied, “Have you been here a long time?”. Iskandar replied, “Since morning”. The monk responded, “Why didn’t you notify us? We would have come earlier to cure you”.
After the monk said these words he walked into a room and return a few minutes later. Then the monk said to Iskandar, “I am going to put this powder in your eye. It will be extremely painful and your eye will swell. Don’t be afraid, for it is going to cure you.” The monk put some powder on Iskandar’s eye and disappeared back into the monastery. Iskandar then saw Father Charbel’s (St Charbel) name inscribed in the ground near the monastery. Iskandar shouted loudly and woke up from his dream. Iskandar asked his wife if his eye was swollen. His wife responded “But it is, very much so!”.
Joyfully Iskandar said to his wife, “Bring me the picture of Father Charbel (St Charbel)”. He covered his healthy eye with a handkerchief and gazed at the image with his damaged eye, Iskandar made the sign of the cross and shouted out, “I can see the picture, I am cured!”. Iskandar’s neighbours came running into his house and in one voice they praised and thanked God and Father Charbel (St Charbel).
Dr Salhab was summoned to Iskandar’s house and verified the recovery and healing of Iskandar’s blind eye. Dr Salhab periodically examined Iskandar’s eye on various occasions and consulted with other specialists. Dr Salhab took up the study of this miracle and unanimously declared: “Iskandar, who lost the use of one eye thirteen years ago, now sees normally with both eyes. The deteriorated iris, which no longer permitted light to pass through, is now perfectly healthy.”
A canonical inquiry was convened which verified the miracle. Iskandar’s entire village in Baabdat, Mount Lebanon testified that Iskandar was a blacksmith by trade, had been blind in one eye and that he had recovered the use of his blind eye by the intercession of Father Charbel (St Charbel).
Canonisation : Miracle 1
St Charbel heals Mariam Assaf Awad in Hammana, Mount Lebanon.
Mariam Assaf Awad was the daughter of Lulu and Assaf Awad and the wife of Ibrahim Awad. Mariam was born in Shakra, Syria and lived in Hammana, Mount Lebanon. Mariam’s husband died 19 years into their marriage and she had a son called Georgios, who married and is a Catholic. Georgios was born illiterate, practiced his religion and attended mass on a daily basis in Hammana, Mount Lebanon.
Mariam underwent three surgeries to remove cancer from her body between 1963 and 1965. The first cancer was in her stomach, the second cancer was in her intestines and third cancer was in the right side of her neck.
The first cancer was removed. The second cancer started to spread through her body according to medical report. The third cancer in her neck started to affect her tonsils. The doctor x-rayed her tonsils and took a sample for further tests and examination. He didn’t prescribe any treatment for the third cancer. Mariam was very doubtful of the third cancer, thinking that there was no cure or treatment to get rid of the cancer and she will eventually die. Therefore, Mariam started to pray to Father Charbel (St Charbel).
Mariam tonsil in her neck were struck with cancer which resulted in unbearable pain and difficulty in swallowing food or water. In addition to this, her voice started to weaken and her tonsils grew to the size of walnuts and became bright red in colour. Mariam refused treatment to get rid of the third cancer including chemotherapy but instead prayed to Father Charbel (St Charbel) for either the cure from the cancer or the power to bear the cancer and die peacefully.
One night, while sitting in her bed just before she went to sleep, she prayed to Father Charbel (St Charbel) the following prayer, “Provide me a cure to this cancer. You are the great Father who has cured the blind and the lame. When I recover from this cancer, I will go to thank you at your tomb.”
The next morning, Mariam woke up and was completely cured from her cancer. The cancerous lump started to disappear and on the fourth day it was completely gone. Mariam was overwhelmed with happiness and thanked Father Charbel (St Charbel) for listening to her prayers and performing a miracle to get rid of all the cancer in her body. Mariam’s affected body parts no longer suffered pain and she became fully strong and healthy.
Mariam fulfilled her promise to Father Charbel (St Charbel) and she travelled to his tomb at the St Maroun’s monastery in Annaya, Mount Lebanon to say thank you for healing her and restoring her health to normality.