Le bienheureux Estephan Nehmé. Source Photo: Wikipedia.org.
Le bienheureux Estephan Nehmé. Source Photo: Wikipedia.org.

On June 27, 2010, under the presidency of Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, the monastery of Saint Cyprien and St. Justine, in the caza of Batroun, northern Lebanon, was the site of the beatification ceremony of another monk of the Lebanese Maronite Order, that of Blessed Estephan Nehmé.

Blessed Estephan Nehmé. Photo source: Wikipedia.org.
Blessed Estephan Nehmé. Photo source: Wikipedia.org.

Born in Lehfed in the caza of Jbeil on March 8, 1889, named just like Nimatullah Kassab Al-Hardini or Saint Charbel, named after Youssef, Estephan Nehmé comes from a large family. Her parents were Estephan Bou Haykal Nehmeh and Christina El Badawi Khaled

At his side, he will find 3 brothers and two sisters and will go to prayer very early on.

It was at the age of 16, in 1905, that he chose to enter the monastery of Kfifane under the name Estephan, like his father.

He will also reside twelve years in the monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouq, ten others in that of Our Lady of Relief in Jbeil, three at St. Anthony of Houb.

In addition to prayer, he will also devote himself to handicrafts, in the fields and as a carpenter. He was appointed fieldmaster, or manager of the lands of the monasteries where he resided. His life was exemplary, especially during the First World War, when the population was hard hit by the famine imposed by the Ottoman Empire. A third of the inhabitants of Mount Lebanon, more than 200,000 people, will then die.

The remains of Estephan Nehmé at the monastery of Kfifane.
The remains of Estephan Nehmé at the monastery of Kfifane.

Blessed Estephan Nehmé died on 30 August 1938 at the age of 49 in the Kfifane Monastery, after a tiring mission and in the heat of the village of Mayfouq.

It was not until 1951, on the occasion of the burial of another monk, that his body was discovered intact. It is then that her remains will now be displayed in a glass coffin at the Monastery where she resides, in front of that of Saint Hardini.

However, it is only after his death that miracles will appear. Some will be recognized by the Catholic Church as early as the 1960s.

In 2017, Pope Benedict XVI will declare him venerable, and in 2010, a decree of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints, also approved by Pope Benedict XVI, acknowledges that these miracles took place through his intercession.

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