St. Sharbel of Lebanon – known for countless miracles of healing and many favors received through his intercession – will be honored with three days of prayer at one area church. The services will be at 5:30 nightly, Thursday through July 22, at St. Anthony’s Church, Park Avenue in Wilkes-Barre. A feast day liturgy will be celebrated at 10 a.m. July 23. Everyone is welcome to participate in the event and to bring or to send special prayer intentions. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will take place after the devotions. The services will conclude with blessings with the St. Sharbel relic.
St. Sharbel was born in Lebanon in 1828. He entered the cloister of monastic life at age 23 and was ordained on July 23, 1859. He would spend hours making spiritual preparations for his daily liturgies and would devote up to two hours after each Mass giving thanks for his priestly life and the gift of offering the Sacred Mysteries.
In 1875, St. Sharbel withdrew to live in solitude. Then in 1898, he suffered a serious stroke while celebrating Mass.
He remained able to continue praying in his final eight days and died on Dec. 24, 1898.
Attorney Ferris Webby, left, a nephew of the late Chorbishop George Webby, holds the picture taken by Webby's uncle on a visit to Lebanon in 1950. The image, right, of the monks of a monastery where St. Sharbel lived, is believed to also contain the likeness of the saint.
In 1950, Father George Webby, a Maronite priest from Scranton, visited Lebanon, took a photo of monks outside the wall of the monastery in which St. Sharbel had lived and upon development of the picture saw that St. Sharbel miraculously appeared with the monks, according to information provided by St. Anthony’s Church.
Art work for holy pictures of this saint is now taken from this photo.
St. Sharbel is listed among The Incorruptibles, saints whose bodies were found intact years after burial. His body kept pouring oil and blood until the year before his canonization in 1977.
For more information on the three days of prayer or on St. Sharbel, call 824-3599.