Saint Charbel Rustic Wooden Angels; Youssef Antoun (in Italian, Giuseppe Antonio) Makhloufi was born in the village of Beqaa Kafra, Lebanon, in 1828, probably on May 8. In 1851 he left home to enter the Lebanese Maronite Order, at the monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouq, in the region of Byblos. In November of the same year he took the religious habit and changed his name to Brother Charbel. The following year he moved to the monastery of Saint Maron in Annaya, on the mountain of Byblos, where he made his solemn vows on November 1, 1853. Later, Brother Charbel was sent to the monastery of Kiffin where he completed his theological studies. After his ordination to the priesthood, Father Charbel returned to Annaya and, six years later, obtained permission to become a hermit in the hermitage of Saints Peter and Paul, not far from the monastery. He lived there another twenty-three years, fasting, praying and working in the fields around the hermitage. On December 16, 1898, while celebrating Mass, he was struck by apoplexy: he died after eight days of agony, on December 24. He was beatified and canonized by Pope Saint Paul VI on December 5, 1965 and October 9, 1977, respectively. His mortal remains are venerated in the monastery of St. Maron in Annaya, in a cedar wood urn.
Roman Martyrology: Saint Charbel (Joseph) Makhluf, priest of the Lebanese Maronite Order, who, seeking a life of austere solitude and higher perfection, withdrew from the coenobium of Annaya in Lebanon to a hermitage, where he served God day and night in supreme sobriety of life with fasting and prayer, coming on December 24 to rest in the Lord.
(December 24: At Annaya in Lebanon, anniversary of the death of Saint Charbel (Joseph) Makhluf, whose memory is celebrated on July 24).