A Touching Site
Many miracle were registered at the monastery of Annaya, too numerous to mention here. The church requires only one authenticated miracle to beatify one of God's servants. In the case of Fr. Sharbel, there are many from which to choose. Already, during his lifetime miraculous events were attributed to him. But it was not until after his death, precisely on the 22nd of April, during a Holy Year, that the hermit offered to the world the greatest and most astounding number of miracles.
The blind, deaf, mutes, the paralytic, the cancerous and the demented were among those cured. They came from many nations, They embraced many faiths. God worked these miracles by a touch to the hermit's body, by the use of an ointment made from the liquid which seeped from his side or by the placing of a hand upon the vestments previousely worn by Sharbel or sodden with the liquid.
This divine power was limited not only to the restoration of the physical nature of man but also to the touched souls. Indeed, the most moving examples of healing were those spirits suffering from habits of sin indifference, disbelief and heresy. They were the ones who found the greatest consolation in the shining example of the solitary hermit.
This is an account of a heart-rending spectacle which took place in 1950. Women of all ages, members of even the most illustrious Lebanese families, trudged barefoot up the stony road to Annaya. Along with them marched old fold, yough folk, the infirm, those carried by loving friends, all yearning for Sharbel's attention. The monastery teemed with people, the church crowned with a multitude of worhsippers, rang with their pleas. The pavement in front of the hermit's tomb was bathed with tears. Foreheads bowed to the ground, lips embraced the walls, hands beat breasts in anguish. Each and every individual attempted to touch the tomb. In this place, sickness and faith were united. The flood gates had been opened, and all the pent-up misery found expression. People cried out for a foot to stand on and walk, an eye to behold the beauty of light and color, a hand to extend to a friend or to render some service, an ear to hear a loved one's voice or a bird's song.
Not all of these petitioners would get well, but all departed greatly comforted, happily praising God and his "Elquiddis, His Saint!"