Charbel's Monastic Life in Kfifane

From Charbel's Early Life.

Charbel became the examplary monk for following rules and accomplishing duties, his thoughts were always about God, his tongue was always speaking about God and his voice was always praising God. Boutros Moussa witnessed:"our faith was strengthening and we blamed ourselves for our attachment to this vanishing life".

The hermit, Father Alishaa discovered Charbel's call since he knew him as a novice in the monastery of Annaya, as Charbel often visited him in the hermitage and considered him as his exhorter at the beginning of his monastic life. After that Charbel took his vows, it was decided that he would stay in Annaya for three years as a worker brother. Father Alishaa seized this opportunity to teach Charbel linguistics and theology. When the Vatican appointed the monastic authority in 1856 and Saint Nehmatallah Al Hardini as Vicar-General, father Alishaa asked his brother to send Charbel to the school of Saint Cyprien in Kfifane to attend theological courses. Father Nehemetallah Al Kafri used to run this school, and Saint Al Hardini used to replace him whenever he was absent.

Monastery of Saint Cyprien and Justina Kfifane

Charbel was one of the best students, smart and perseverant, skilled in literary theology and excellent in theological studies, and he was an example for all. In the church, he used to kneel down on the floor in one particular place and there was no benches, his posture showed extreme piety and his brothers were inspired by his sight, which lead them to name him Saint. Saint Al Hardini himself said:" I have a student who is a Saint, he is brother Charbel from Bekaakafra". Charbel witnessed Al Hardini's death on the 14th of December 1858.

Charbel was ordained a priest on the 23rd of July 1859. His niece Wardeh came with some family members to congratulate him for his ordainment and they asked him with insistance to come to his home village Bekaakafra to celebrate his first Holy Mass, so he answered her: "The monk who comes to the monastery then returns back to his village, when he is back to the monastery he will have to start from the beginning."

He was sent to the monastery of Saint Yaacoub Al Hosn in the area of Jbeil where he spent a few months in hermitage, penance and prayer; Then Alishaa asked for him again to watch over him and to cultivate his monastic call and enjoy his company. Charbel was transferred to Annaya where he worked with the novices until his death.

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