I love the diversity and richness of the Catholic Church. Today we celebrate a saint who was a Maronite Priest and monk, St. Sharbel Makhluf. Most people, including Catholics, do not realize that in addition to the Latin rite there are 21 Eastern Rite Churches. The Marionites are one of them. The Liturgy’s in the Eastern Rite are similar to the Orthodox Churches which are still separated from Rome and the Pope. Most of the Catholic Eastern Rite Churches even permit married priest, if married at the time of ordination, but bishops are not married. You can learn more about the Eastern Rites here.
St. Sharbel Makhluf (1828-1898) had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was a hermit and although he was tempted by wealth, he taught the value of poverty, self-sacrifice, and prayer by the life that he lived. During his life time he performed miracles. His tomb at the monastery of St. Maron in Lebanon is a place of pilgrimage.
Collect: O great Saint Charbel, religious of an intense interior life, your spirit lived in Heaven more than on earth, thanks to your complete detachment. In order for us to scorn the things of here below, we implore you to give us your ardent love for Jesus Host and your tender devotion for the Mother of the Savior. We offer to the Eternal Father the Mass that was your life as a host and victim, and we pray Him through Jesus and His Mother to raise up saints like you on the earth so that the whole world may return to the Gospel and love of the Cross. Amen.