Saint Charbel

Born Youssef Makhlouf in Beqa Kafra on 8 May 1828, he was the fifth child in a family of simple farmers. When he was three years old, his father was taken away by the Ottoman Army, never to return. Youssef was sent to the village school, and as a child was given to prayer. At a young age, he knew that God was calling him to become a monk. He prayed to Our Lady to make it come to pass. Two of his mother’s brothers were already monks. However, he did not leave until 1851, when a woman indicated her desire to marry him. Saying nothing, he left home the next morning to enter the monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouq, which was run by the Lebanese Maronite Order (“the LMO”). However, he was pursued there by his uncle, mother and relatives. They begged him to return home, marry, work and look after them. Charbel refused, saying that God wanted him entirely. It is said that in the end his mother gave her consent, telling him to be a good monk, but if he was going to be mediocre, then he should return home.  READ MORE HERE