VIDEO: Saint Charbel's House in Bekaakafra, Lebanon

Saint Charbel was born on the 8th of May, 1828 in the village of Bekaakafra in the district of Bsharre in northern Lebanon. He grew up and lived until he reached the age of 23, he lived with his family in a house, which according to the official registers and the elders of the village is almost four centuries old.

When in 1950, the miracles related to the intercession of Saint Charbel occurred, the Maronite Order decided to buy his house and to make it part of the precious heritage for the Maronite Order and for Lebanon. The decision was put into effect on June 23, 1953. 

Restoration works took place and the house was renovated in an artistic way which preserved its authentic character and its typical architecture. Then the order converted it into a sanctuary. A cedar wood altar was installed and on May 25, 1955 a solemn Mass was celebrated for its inauguration, in the presence of great crowds of the religious and the faithful.

The successive monks in charge have improved the house, and they added rooms for the monks own accommodation, a library and an oratory were also added. The basement and two neighboring houses were also restored turning the whole complex into a museum devoted to Saint Charbel. A new road leading all the way to the house was opened and a permanent art exhibition was inaugurated. The gallery houses illustrations and paintings retracing the life of the Saint. A marble statue of Saint Charbel was inaugurated in the spring of 1994. 

Currently there are several relies exposed in the house of Saint Charbel, including such objects as an ampule containing blood of the Saint, a handkerchief with the impression of his face and a chasuble he wore. 

While preserving this precious historical and religious heritage, the Maronite Order decided to launch apostolic and social movements in the village and to organize conferences and cultural gatherings. These activities contribute to the special role played by the village of Saint Charbel and its young generation inside the Church and the Country.

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