Beirut (AsiaNews) - The Church of Lebanon has another blessed. He is father Stephan Nehme, a Maronite Lebanese monk who yesterday was written on the role of the blessed during a ceremony in Kfifan that was attended, over 50 thousand faithful ( pictured) from all over the country and abroad.
The ceremony was also attended by many politicians, among them the President of the Republic, Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Addressing the latter, the superior of the Order, Father Élias Khalifié, thanked for having dedicated "his full attention [to the event], to the delight of all Lebanese, Muslims and Christians”.
The ceremony was chaired by Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir and the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Mgr. Angelo Amato, who read the document for the beatification signed by Pope Benedict XVI.
Father Nehme, born in 1889 in Lehfed, died in 1938 of natural causes and was buried in the monastery of Kfifan, where his body is still preserved. Remembering the extraordinary figure, Mgr. Angelo Amato, said that the monk "worked a lot, prayed a lot and meditated for periods of time. He was an angel with a human face ". The fame of his industriousness and his virtue was such that the superiors of the monasteries have always asked to have brother Stephan in their community, because of his good example in prayer, work and harmony”. His charity also extended outside the convent. During the First World War, when famine scourged most families, Brother Stephan distributed food to the needy. "Purity of heart" and "uninterrupted prayer", as witnessed by his continued recitation of the Rosary, are the two pillars of Christian perfection of the new Blessed. "His earthly life was always open to the eternity of God opened, with accents of a blissful contemplation of the Heavenly Jerusalem."