Saint Charbel's Sleep

From A Life Of Hardship.

A bed similar to the one used by Saint Charbel, at the
Monastery of Saint Maron, Annaya

Saint Charbel’s bed consisted of dry oak leaves, with a cover sewn from goat hair. His pillow was a log of wood wrapped with an old black fabric. He slept on this bed during summer and winter, and it was an extremely rough backrest for him as it had no mattress and no comforter. Sometimes on extreme cold winter nights, he used a woolen blanket that he attached to the hemp. The sight of his bed stirred one’s heart as it looked like a place for torture rather than a place to rest, especially after his long and hard days at work in the fields. In fact, he slept on a piece of hemp over a couple of wooden boards supported by four stones, around 20 cm above the floor. He often abandoned his bed and slept on the floor.

Father Elias Ehmej testified:”I noticed several times that he was exhausted from sleeplessness as he often stayed awake very late in the night to pray. Many times when he was on his knees praying, he fell asleep and his head and body started to bend slowly until he woke up again before his head reached the floor, then he would straighten himself again, beating the weakness of the body, raising his eyes, taking a deep breath and resuming his prayer. In spite of his pain and sleepless nights, nobody ever saw him taking any nap during the day or even any brief rest under a tree.”

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