Lebanon Witnesses Religious Day with Estephan Nehmeh's Beatification
(Retrieved from Naharnet on June 27, 2010)
Lebanon is witnessing a national religious ceremony on Sunday to beatify Maronite Monk Estephan Nehmeh amid a massive political, religious and popular participation.
President Michel Suleiman and Premier Saad Hariri led a host of politicians, officials and clergy during the celebrations at the monastery of Mar Qobrianos and Justina in Kfifan in Batroun province.
The naturally-preserved body of Nehmeh rests inside a glass coffin at the monastery.
Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir celebrated the mass for the event. Pope Benedict XVI's representative, Archbishop Angelo Amato, also took part in the ceremony.
Amato read the papal decree bestowing the title of "blessed" on Nehmeh, who devoted his life to "meditative prayer and unlimited service to the poorest."
Church bells rang throughout Lebanon in celebration of the beatification at 9:00am ahead of the mass.
Head of the monastery, Father Michel Elian, who oversaw all preparations for the ceremony, expected more than 50,000 believers to attend the beatification.
"We have received a lot of phone calls from Lebanese expatriates in Australia, the United States, Canada, Venezuela and Mexico saying they will be part of this holy day," Elian told An Nahar daily.
Nehmeh, who was born in 1889, has made several miracles. He died in 1938. In December 2007, Benedict gave the green light for his beatification.
Another Saint arises from Lebanon, the "Holy Land”! …Beatification of Brother Estephen Nehme on June 27.
Stephen or Estephen Nehme (1889-1939), born joseph Nehme at Lehfed- Lebanon. He joined the Lebanese Maronite order, and lived his entire life in chastity and prayer. He died in 30 August 1938 in Kfifane-Batroun, North Lebanon of natural cause.
He was declared heroic in virtue during the investigation and process leading to his canonization. The virtues are the Theological Virtues of faith, hope and charity and the Cardinal Virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.Thus, he was declared Venerable in December 17, 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. Nonetheless, the pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree of miracle on 27 March 2010, and his beatification will take place on June 27, 2010.
We hope that GOD will always consider our homeland a “Holy Land”, because Lebanon needs Your Almighty protection, and your chosen saints, now more than ever.!!
Archbishop Angelo Amato, special envoy of Pope Benedict XVI, read the papal decree bestowing the title of "blessed" on Estephan Nehmeh (1889-1938), who devoted his life to "meditative prayer and unlimited service to the poorest."
The beatification of the monk, a member of the most powerful Christian church in Lebanon, was approved after doctors appointed by the Holy See in 2007 certified the "miraculous" cure of his niece, Sister Marina, from cancer.
The bedridden Sister Marina, 95, attended Sunday's ceremony. Sick for 30 years, it was she who prayed to her dead uncle to intercede for her.
Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir presided over the ceremony at the Saint Justine and Saint Cyprien monastery at Kfifan, where Nehmeh's mummified body is displayed in a glass coffin.
President Michel Sleiman, who is also Maronite, and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, attended, along with other political figures and a huge crowd estimated by the organisers at more than 100,000.