He was born in the Lebanon, the son of a mule-driver, and brought up by his uncle, who did not approve of his devotion to prayer and solitude. He would go secretly to the monastery of St Maron at Annaya, and eventually became a Maronite monk and was ordained priest. After being a monk for many years, he was drawn to a closer imitation of the Desert Fathers and became a hermit. At his hermitage he lived a severely ascetic life with much prayer and fasting. He refused to touch money and considered himself the servant of anyone who came to stay in the three other cells that the hermitage possessed. He spent the last 23 years of his life there, and increasing numbers of people would come to receive his counsel or his blessing.
Prayer from Morning Prayer:
God our Father, in Saint Charbel Makhlouf you gave a light to your faithful people.
You made him a pastor of the Church
to feed your sheep with his word
and to teach them by his example.
Help us by his prayers to keep the faith he taught
and follow the way of life he showed us.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.