It was a beautiful spring day when I visited the Baaklini family in Harrisburg, Penn. The enthusiastic crowd sang hymns and organized a procession for Our Lady of Fatima on entering the home. After crowning Our Lady, I looked around the living room at several images of saints, some of who were unfamiliar to me. After they told me about certain Lebanese saints displayed, I pointed to an image of Saint Charbel Makhlouf in the corner, exclaiming, “I know Saint Charbel!”
Overjoyed to find a fellow devotee of the great saint, one of the gentlemen began to tell a story. It involved family friends of his in Lebanon, and was a clear example of Saint Charbel’s miraculous intercession.
It was the fall of 2014, and this Lebanese family had hired a live-in nanny to care for their children. The nanny was soon troubled to hear news that her mother in the Philippines was dying from cancer. The family she worked for could not afford to give her the money to travel to the Philippines. And if she made the long journey from Lebanon to the Philippines, her employers would have to hire someone else to take her place.
The father of this family told the nanny one morning, “We are going to the monastery where the relics of Saint Charbel are kept. Come with us and pray before the remains of Saint Charbel. When we return, call your mother and we will see what can be arranged.”
Still troubled about her mother’s illness, they all traveled together the next day to pray before Saint Charbel.
Upon returning, the nanny called her mother in the Philippines, eager for updates about her illness. Despite the time difference, her mother answered right away, so excited she could barely contain herself: “Tell the family you work for something for me. Tell them thank you! Thank them for the doctor they sent over yesterday!”
Needless to say, the daughter was confused. “Doctor? What doctor?”
“The doctor they sent yesterday! He gave me this juice to drink, and I haven’t felt this good in years! I can’t believe it!”
Still confused, the nanny persisted: “Doctor? Mom, who was this doctor?”
“Well, I don’t remember his name…” Here she proceeded to describe the man who visited her, giving the exact physical description of Saint Charbel. As the mother in the Philippines related this story, her daughter halfway around the world started to cry. She realized it was a heavenly visitor who had cured her mother, none other than Saint Charbel himself!
The mother was examined by several Filipino doctors in the days that followed. They were astounded at the total disappearance of her cancer. Those who had tracked her illness could hardly believe it was the same woman had they not known her before.
As I listened to the story, I marveled at Saint Charbel, by whom God has worked so many wonders. This was not a story from centuries ago, but from our own day. Everyone involved is still living, and spreading devotion to Saint Charbel around the world. May Saint Charbel continue to work great miracles for those who call on him, to bring healing to both body and soul.