What is the Saint Charbel’s Oil?
Saint Charbel’s Oil falls under the category of “Oil of the Saints” and is a fluid of an oily consistency which has secreted from the relics of respective saints, oil blessed in honor of a saint or the one which was poured over the relics of saint and collected as a sacramental.
The phenomenon of Saint Charbel’s Oil started with a bright light over Saint Charbel’s grave, which was observed for 45 nights after his funeral in 1898. This occurrence prompted the authorities to exhume the remains of the saint and for everyone’s surprise his body was found incorrupt, with mysterious fluid secreting from Saint Charbel’s body. It was so intensive, that monks had to change his clothing twice a week. It was a mixture of sweat and blood, odorless and colorless.
Miracle which lasted 67 years
It was year 1965 when the body of St Charbel was found to have finally decomposed, the year in which St Charbel’s beatification took place. Only his bones remained and the discharge of the fluid has ceased. And so for 67 years the body of Saint Charbel remained perfectly preserved and secreting oil. For reasons known only to Himself, God chose not to continue this miracle.
It is estimated that during those 67 years his body “produced” around 20000 liters of liquid( =5000 gallons). This mysterious fluid has become a sign of Christ’s power to heal His people from all kinds of diseases. Hundreds of miracles are believed to have occurred through his intercession. The monastery started to keep records of miracles in 1950 and in just first two years it gathered more than 1200 claims.
How to use Saint Charbel’s Oil?
This oil is used for anointing, with the intention for the health of our soul and body. Of course, just anointing is not enough. You have to pray to the St Charbel for his intercession in our cause with God and above all you have to have strong faith in God and his omnipotence. I find that the best thing is to put everything in the hands of The Lord and simply pray;
“O Lord, let it be Your will and not mine, You take care of it, because I trust You.”
Where to get the Original Oil?
The original Saint Charbel’s oil can be obtained directly from the Sanctuary of Saint Charbel in Annaya, simply by writing to them.
Email with a request should be sent to:
More information on the official website:
Saint Charbel’s oil is blessed with a first degree reliquary of the saint during the proper service in the Maronite rite. The oil touches the bones of Saint Charbel and is a relic of the second degree.
You get a cotton ball socked in the oil, in a little plastic bag. It is completely free, but anyone who wishes to make a donation can do so, to cover the costs of shipping and other materials (info. available on their website).
For those who are not to sure what to write in email, very simple example underneath:
Sample e-mail content:
Praised be Jesus Christ,
Please Father, could you be kind to send me some miraculous Oil of St. Charbel?
May God Bless you! Thank You.
Signature + Address ( name, surname, street, city, zip code, country )
Few facts about Saint Charbel
Yussef Antoun Makhlouf( full birth name of St Charbel), born in Lebanon, in the small village of Bekaa-Kafra on 8th of May 1828 was the youngest child of Antoun Zaarour Makhlouf and Brigitta Elias al-Shediyaq. He had four siblings. The family was poor but religious. His father died when little Yussef was only three.
From very young age he was attracted to prayer and solitude. In 1851, when he was 23 he left home without telling anyone and entered the Monastery of St. Maron in Annaya. Yussef became Brother Charbel. He took his monastic vows in 1853 and was ordinated a priest in 1859. He had to wait 16 years before permission was granted to retire to the nearby hermitage dedicated to St Peter and Paul (photo).
For the remaining 23 years he led very simple and ascetic life in his cell (photo). He slept on a straw mattress with a plank of wood for a pillow, with one meal a day (left-overs from the monastery). He had a great devotion to the Eucharist and during the celebration of the Holy Mass he suffered a stroke on 16th of December 1898, dying on Christmas Eve just eight days later. He was 70 years old then.
After three days he was buried without a coffin, as this was the custom of the monastery. For the next 45 nights his tomb was surrounded by a bright light. Large number of people witnessed that and no one could give an explanation of this phenomenon. Permission from authorities was given to exhume St Charbel’s body four months after his death. To everyone’s surprise his body was found incorrupt, regardless the fact that the grave had been flooded by heavy rains. Charbel was lifted out and he was given fresh clothing before being placed in a coffin in a corner of the monastery’s chapel. Mysterious liquid was exuding continuously from the pores of his body.
28 years after his death, on 24th of July 1927, still incorrupt body of St Charbel was examined by two physicians of the French Medical Institute at Beirut. Here is what they thought:
Dr. Elias Elonaissi who personally examined the body of our saint declared on November 16, 1921:
“I observed that the pores emitted a matter like sweat; a strange and inexplicable thing according to the laws of nature, for this body that has been dead for so many years. I have renewed the same examination many times, at different periods; the phenomenon has always been the same.”
Dr. George Choukrallah, physician who examined the body of St Charbel 24 times during 17 years said:
“I have always been astonished at its state of preservation and especially this reddish liquid exuded by it. … My personal opinion based on study and experience, is that this body is preserved by a supernatural power.”
Body of St Charbel was transferred to another coffin lined with zinc, before being placed in a new tomb inside the wall of an oratory. The tomb was left undisturbed for 23 years and then on 25th of February 1950 pilgrims to the shrine reported seeing liquid seeping from a corner of the tomb, which was opened up. The tomb and the coffin were found dry and in the same condition as when it was sealed, except that a liquid was seen dripping through a crack in the foot of the casket. Once more the body was found to be incorrupted and the fluid continued to be secreted from its pores.
Year of his Beatification (1965), was the end of this great phenomenon, but that hasn’t stop St Charbel to work his miracles in lives of those who ask for his intercession. He was Canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI.
Two miracles chosen for the process were:
1. Sister Maria Abel Kawary. She suffered serious intestinal problems for 14 years and there was no hope from doctors but after praying all night beside Charbel’s grave she was cured instantaneously. The doctor who examined her recorded her cure as “a supernatural happening which is beyond man’s power to explain.”
2. Iskandar Oubeid. He lost the sight in one eye after suffering a blow to it while at work. Optician announced that the damage to the iris was so severe that he would never see through it again. 13 years later he took the advice of friends to visit the tomb of Saint Charbel. On returning home he had a dream in which a monk appeared, promising to cure him. The next morning he found he could see perfectly out of both eyes. No medical explanation could be found.
Feast day of St Charbel is on 3rd Sunday in July (Maronite Calendar) and July 24 (Roman Calendar)
How do we know what St Charbel looked like?
There are no photos or paintings of Saint Charbel from the time when he was alive. On 8th of May 1950 something amazing happened. Few Maronite missionaries took a photo of themselves next to Saint Charbel thumb. Photo was developed and it turned out that apart from the monks, the foreground clearly shows the figure of an elderly monk. Some monks quickly recognized St Charbel in him, as they new him when he was alive. All the images of St Charbel we know took their origin from this photograph.