On July 17th, on the occasion of the feast of Saint Charbel, His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, presided over a festive Mass in the Maronite Church of Bethlehem, at the invitation of the Maronite priest, Fr. Yacoub Eid. This church, and the convent next to it, were inaugurated by a group of Lebanese priests in 1983, in the name of Mar Charbel – a Maronite hermit from Lebanon who was beatified in 1965 and canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI.
“During his life, Mar Charbel did not do anything,” said the Patriarch during his homily. “He did not build schools or hospitals; like the Mary of the Gospel (Luke 10:38-42), he only sat in front of God. Yet after many years, what he did concretely touched the lives of many people,” he added, referring to the many miracles performed by the saint after his death. Today, following the renovation of the church and convent after the Second Intifada, the relics of Mar Charbel are sheltered inside the church, and a short exhibition outside recounts the miraculous cures performed through his intercession.