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"A happy family is but an earlier heaven"

"I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich"

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Bishop Semaan ZOUEIN



Did You Know?

Nimutallah al Hardeeni (A New Member of the Choir of Maronite Saints)

Was Ordained by
BISHOP SEMAAN ZOUEIN

Nimutallah Kassab al-Hardeeni.
Courtesy of the Lebanese Maronite Order (Lebanon, 1997)

Youssef Kassab Lebanon, ca. 1810. His father was Gerges Kassab, and his mother Mariam Raad, daughter of Reverend Yousef Yacoub. His brothers were 'Assaf, Elias, Tanious, Yacoub and his sisters Masihieh and Mariam. His brother Elias became Father Lesha', the Hermit at Qozhaya, and later at 'Annaya where he died. Father Sharbel replaced the late Father Lesha' at the hermitage in 'Annaya.

Nimutallah became a novice at Saint Anthony's Monastery in Qozhaya in the Holy Valley of Qannoubine ca. November 1830. He took monastic vows ca. November 1832. After completing his theological studies at the Monastery of Saints Yostina and Keprianos (Saints Justine and Cyprian) in Kfifan, he was ordained a priest by Bishop SEMAAN ZOUEIN in December ca.1835.

Between 1835 and 1838, he served at the Monastery of Kfifan where he instructed children and assisted at baptisms and in celebrating the Eucharist. He assumed the duties of Assistant General of the Lebanese Maronite Order three times, in 1845-1847, 1850-1853 and 1856-1858.

He continued to work at bookbinding even when he was Assistant General and taught at various schools of his Order. Among his students was Brother Sharbel Makhlouf (Saint Sharbel) who studied under him from 1853 to 1858.

Father Nimutallah al-Hardeeni died of an incurable illness at the Monastery in Kfifan on December 14, 1858. Beside him at his bed when he died was his spiritual mentor Father Daniel Becherrani who was the maternal uncle of Saint Sharbel of Bekaa-Kafra. Father al-Hardeeni was buried at the Monastery in Kfifan according to monastic tradition.

Several miracles led to the transferal of his body, the sealing of his tomb and then the submission of his cause for Beatification to the Apostolic See in Rome on May 4, 1926.

He was declared Venerable on September 7, 1989. At the behest of his Beatitude Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Sfeir, his body was examined and placed in a new coffin on May 18, 1996. His body was recently transferred to a new coffin made of cedar and placed in the Monastery of Kfifan where people may visit.

Several cures have taken place through his intercession. These include the raising to life of a Muslim child whose mother claimed had died, the healing of a person with a neurological disease, the restoration of sight to a blind person and the curing of a person suffering from cancer.

Pope John Paul II will beautify Nimutallah al-Hardeeni at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome on Sunday May 10, 1998. The Maronite Church celebrates his feast day on the 14th of December.

 
 

By Georges Elkhoury Zouein - Zeaitreh / Kessrouan /Lebanon

 

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